Cases of mental illness and depression among women with breast cancer are increasingly becoming a cause for concern as depression jeopardizes recovery. Breast cancer survivor and CEO of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, Kim Ryan says “Cancer patients require optimum mental health in order to improve their physical health and recover faster.”

As even death rates are a shocking 25 per cent higher in cancer patients who suffer from depression and about 39 per cent higher in cancer patients who received a diagnosis of depression, nurses are trying to create awareness by urging patients to talk about and seek help to tackle depression on Pink Ribbon Day.

Worried about the fact that the anxiety caused by the mental illness is often not treated, ANF Assistant Federal Secretary Yvonne Chaperon says “We need a holistic approach to healthcare. As it stands families of patients are often left to fill the gap. They feel helpless as their loved one experiences depression while also trying to cope with their physical illness."

Considering the lapse in treatment unnecessary as nurses could provide that care, Ryan and Chaperon agree that better training and education for nurses will ensure that they have the skills to recognize the symptoms of depression and often suggest treatment.