Anxiety Can Lead Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Patients to Choose Aggressive Treatment

Anxiety Can Lead Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Patients to Choose Aggressive Treatment
Emotional distress may motivate men with low-risk prostate cancer to choose a more aggressive treatment, such as surgery or radiation therapy, instead of active surveillance, researchers at the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute report. Addressing such distress and the fears behind it before and during treatment may ease their reluctance to active surveillance (where the cancer is only carefully monitored for signs of progression), the team said. The study, “Emotional Distress Increases the Likelihood of Undergoing Surgery among Men with Localized Prostate Cancer,” was published in the Journal of Urology. Being diagnosed with prostate cancer, like any cancer, can affect people psychologically. Depression, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and pain are commonly reported in these patients. The sexual problems and incontinence that are often experienced by prostate cancer patients complicate matters further. Findings support "what we have been pushing a long time for, which is, 'Let's make this decision as informed and supported as possible,'" Heather Orom, PhD, associate professor of community health and health behavior in UB's School of Public Health and Health Professions, said in news release. "If distress early on is influencing treatment choice, then maybe we help men by providing clearer information about prognosis and strategies for dealing w
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