Korean J Psychosom Med.  2012 Dec;20(2):75-81.

Effects of Surgical Operation and Induced Thyroid Hormone Deficiency During Cancer Treatment on Emotional Distress in Thyroid Cancer Patients

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sjh70md@gmail.com
  • 2Thyroid Cancer Center, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Thyroid cancer patients may experience emotional distress during cancer treatment including surgical operation and radioactive iodine treatment. The aims of this prospective study were to investigate changes of anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer(DTC) under preoperative, postoperative and short-term hypothyroidism state.
Using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale(HAD) and the Distress Thermometer, we sequentially assessed the levels of anxiety, depression and distress in 41 DTC patients at 3 time points such as preoperative state, postoperative state and short-term hypothyroidism state.
The HAD-anxiety score was significantly higher in preoperative state(6.93+/-3.97) than postoperative state(4.22+/-2.92) and short-term hypothyroidism state(4.93+/-3.64). Any other significant change in depression or distress thermometer score was not observed. Especially, difference of HADS score between the distress and none-distress groups was significant in preoperative state and post-operative state, but the difference become not significant in the short-term hypothyroidism state.
Induced thyroid hormone deficiency during cancer treatment does not significantly affect emotional distress in patient with DTC. Anxiety and depression in these patients may be associated with distress of the patient before active cancer treatment.


Differentiated thyroid cancer; Hypothyroidism; Anxiety; Depression; Distress
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