- Psychiatric Annals
- April 2012 - Volume 42 · Issue 4: 138-141
CME Educational Objectives
Understand unique psychological needs of elderly cancer patients, especially as they relate to existential conflicts and concerns.
Appreciate that elderly cancer patients are particularly vulnerable to depression and suicidality.
Review current literature on addressing existential concerns in elderly cancer patients and to provide recommendations for possible therapeutic interventions.
This case follows a 60-year-old divorced white male with a 25-year history of hairy cell leukemia (HCL) and long-standing depression who was referred to our psychiatric clinic for the treatment of depression in the context of relapsing HCL.
The patient’s psychiatric history predates his diagnosis of HCL with intermittent depression since puberty. He first came to psychiatric attention in 1982 with vegetative depressive symptoms and shortly thereafter began a brief course of unspecified psychotherapy.
All authors are with The George Washington University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC. Robert C. Meisner, MD, is Resident Physician; Eindra Khin Khin, MD, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Julia Dorfman, MD, PhD, is Resident Physician; and Lorenzo Norris, MD, is Medical Director of Psychiatric Behavioral Services.
Drs. Meisner, Khin, Dorfman, and Norris have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Address correspondence to: Lorenzo Norris, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20037; fax: 202-741-2891; email: .email@example.com