Emotionally Distressed Prostate Cancer Patients May Ask for Overly Aggressive Therapy

Emotionally Distressed Prostate Cancer Patients May Ask for Overly Aggressive Therapy
Men with low-risk prostate cancer who are not emotionally well may ask doctors for a more aggressive treatment regimen when it may not be necessary, a study suggests. The research, “Emotional Distress Increases the Likelihood of Undergoing Surgery among Men with Localized Prostate Cancer,” was published in the Journal of Urology. Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy among elderly men and the second leading malignancy in the Western world. Among men with localized prostate cancer, those with a low-risk disease have extremely low rates of cancer-specific mortality within 10 years of diagnosis. In these cases, many doctors prefer to offer patients watchful waiting or active surveillance of their disease. Despite this, prostate cancer over-treatment can occur among men with low-risk disease -- at the men's behest. Heather Orom, PhD, assistant dean for equity, diversity and inclusion at the School of Public Health and Health Professions of University at Buffalo and her colleagues University of Buffalo researchers sought to determine if emotional distress could increase the likelihood of a patient having to undergo surgery -- versus radiation or active surveillance -- in men with localized prostate cancer, particularly those with low-risk disease. Heather Orom, PhD, and her colleagues measured emotional distress in 1,531 men recruited from two academic and three community facilities. Orom is assistant dean for equity, diversity and inclusion at the University of Buffalo's School of Public Health and Health Professions. Eight-three percent of the men the researchers studied were non-Hispanic whites. Eleven percent w
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