An adult with cancer is at increased risk for committing suicide. A patient at increased risk can often be identified by the presence of certain risk factors.


Patient selection: adult with cancer


Risk factors for committing suicide:

(1) older age (age >= 65 years)

(2) male gender

(3) being unmarried (poor social support)

(4) significant pain or physical discomfort

(5) significant emotional distress

(6) history of depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorder

(7) stating that he or she would be better off dead


Medications which may serve as surrogate markers:

(1) opioid or other potent analgesics

(2) antidepressants

(3) hypnotic or sedative agent



• The older age may reflect the higher incidence of cancer as we age.


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