Non-Squamous, Non-Basal Cell Cancers of the Skin: Exploring Associations Between Site of Disease and Depression

Yahya Almodallal, Minji K. Lee, Jennifer G. Le-Rademacher, Caleb J. Smith, Jamie L. Carroll, Steven I. Robinson, Aminah Jatoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Earlier studies report a direct association between diseases of the skin—particularly those on the face—and depression. However, to our knowledge, such associations have not been examined in patients with non-squamous, non-basal call skin cancers. Methods: The primary goal was to assess whether malignant skin disease—specifically on the face as opposed to other sites—was associated with depression. The medical records of patients with cutaneous cancer (either primary or metastatic but non-squamous, non-basal cell) were reviewed for the relevant data. Results: One hundred and sixty-five patients were studied. Only 23 patients (14%) had metastases to the face, and 115 (70%) had a readily viewable skin cancer. Twenty-one patients (13%) developed depression after a diagnosis of cutaneous cancer (of note, the rate of missing data for depression was 37%). Only one patient with facial cutaneous cancer manifested depression, yielding an odds ratio for not developing depression (95% confidence interval (CI)) of 4.4 (0.5,35); p = 0.13. Depression appeared to occur more often in women (62% versus 43%), patients with a history of depression (52% versus 6%), and younger patients (median age with and without depression 55 years and 67 years, respectively). Conclusion: In contrast to other cutaneous diseases, no association was found between cutaneous cancer to the face and depression. Nonetheless, high rates of missing data underscore the need to focus on depression in patients with cutaneous cancers in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-982
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • cutaneous cancer
  • depression
  • face
  • missing data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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