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EMPOWER & CONNECT – A Toolkit for Managing Co-Occuring Cancer and Depression Across Europe

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be profoundly disorienting, often accompanied by intense emotions such as fear, anxiety, sadness, and despair. These feelings can fall into depression, which significantly impacts the patient’s quality of life and response to treatment.

Depression is characterised by persistent sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. This condition poses a unique challenge for those diagnosed with cancer, as the emotional burden of the illness, combined with treatment challenges and the uncertainty of outcomes, can intensify or trigger depressive symptoms.

Research indicates that the prevalence of depression is significantly higher among cancer patients compared to the general population. The journey through cancer treatment not only tests physical stamina but also places deep strain on emotional well-being, often leading individuals to question their very existence.

This Toolkit is designed to support patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals by offering practical guidance and strategies to manage the dual challenges of cancer and depression. We invite you to explore this research, which aims to enhance understanding, provide support, and foster connections, making a positive difference in the lives of those affected by these co-occurring conditions.

I think that cancer diagnosis in
itself, is an identity shift because time
is no longer infinite. The question is,
first of all, how much time do I have?
Am I going to be living for another
year, two years, three years, five years…​

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If you would like to know more about this project, contact us at

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Rue du Trône 60, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium