New York, May 31, 2018 – A new study published in the Journal of Urology® reports that men with prostate cancer who had worse urinary, bowel, and sexual function after surgery or radiotherapy than others experienced more emotional distress. Interestingly, the reverse was also true as experiencing more distress led to worse function. The likelihood of this reciprocal relationship highlights the importance of greater investment in psychosocial care to mitigate treatment side effects in prostate cancer survivors.
Patients with cancer frequently experience emotional distress, not only when they are diagnosed and during treatment, but also into long-term survivorship. Studies have shown that interventions to reduce the emotional burden of disease in patients with cancer can promote recovery and reduce associated costs.
Most of the 2.8 million survivors of prostate cancer in the United States have been treated with definitive therapy, typically surgery and/or radiotherapy, and have a favorable prognosis. Men treated surgically often experience some degree of urinary incontinence, especially in the first year following treatment, and most experience erectile dysfunction even two years after surgery. While emotional distress decreases in most prostate cancer survivors, some have high emotional distress that does not decline over time to a level
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