Anxiety and depression

People with pancreatic cancer may be more likely to have anxiety or depression.

Depression can affect the quality of your daily life, and you may feel less able to cope with treatment such as chemotherapy.

Symptoms of depression include:

  • loss of appetite and weight loss
  • negative thoughts and feeling hopeless
  • loss of any interest or pleasure in daily life
  • problems sleeping.

Some of the symptoms of depression can be similar to symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Speak to the medical team or your GP if you have any of these symptoms. They can find out what’s causing them and how best to manage them.

There are ways to deal with depression and anxiety. For example, support in dealing with what might be causing the anxiety might help – such as help with financial issues, or dealing with any symptoms or side effects. Speaking to the medical team or a counsellor may help you to come to terms with your cancer diagnosis and what that might mean for the future. Anti-depressant drugs can also help manage anxiety and depression.

Getting the right support can help you cope if you are struggling with anxiety or depression.

Get support

Speak to your doctor or nurse if you have symptoms of depression, or feel you are struggling.

You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our Support Line with any questions about anxiety or depression or getting support.

Speak to our nurses

"I was determined to enjoy every minute I had with him, I didn't want to feel like I had wasted precious time being sad. We also didn't want to make cancer the focus of our lives, as much for the kids as anything else."

Published January 2018
To be reviewed January 2020