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Individuals often encounter psychological distress after a diagnosis of cancer, especially head and neck cancer (HNC). Worries regarding restricted functions, facial disfigurement, waiting time for investigation and duration of hospital stay for treatment make them feel awful. Often this feeling goes unnoticed and is underestimated. We aimed to assess the prevalence of the dreadful feeling in terms of anxiety and depression in newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients. A cross-sectional study was conducted in two cancer-treating institutions in South India. About 357 freshly diagnosed HNC patients participated in the study. Pre-validated Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess the anxiety and depression levels. Descriptive statistics was done to report socio-demographic, clinical variables and mean scores. Independent t-test and correlation test were done for comparison and association, respectively. Mean depression score for males and females was 11.481, 11.865, respectively. Mean anxiety score for males was 11.708 and 11.792 for females. There was a strong positive correlation between depression and anxiety score (0.864) among patients. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean anxiety and depression scores among gender, socioeconomic status, marital status and cancer stages (p>0.05). Newly diagnosed HNC patients had an abnormal level of anxiety and depression, which needs special attention and care during treatment for a better outcome.
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