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Prostate Cancer’s Effects on Caregiving Partners

Prostate Cancer’s Effects on Caregiving PartnersAs it is for most health conditions, caregiving for a man with prostate cancer can take a significant toll on one’s own health and well-being.

This past March, at the annual meeting of the European Association of Urology (EAU), researchers presented the results of a study of 56 wives taking care of husbands with advanced metastatic prostate cancer. (Metastatic means that the cancer had spread beyond the prostate to other parts of the body.) The wives’ average age was 69 years.  

Forty-six percent of the women said that their husband’s prostate cancer had affected their own health.

One of the biggest adjustments the women faced was the change in roles. They had married during a time when men’s and women’s marriage roles were more traditional and distinct than they are now. Some men were “unrealistic” about what they could still do, and the wives struggled to fill the gaps.

“We have 22 windows and my husband thinks that he can still polish them and also do all the gardening,” one woman said. “But nothing happens and he doesn’t want me to arrange professional help.”

(Note: Women’s comments were provided in an EAU press statement.)

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