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Conditions: Prostate Cancer

Suicide Risk among Genitourinary Cancer Patients

Many factors can contribute to suicide and ultimately, a person’s decision to end his or her life is a personal one. However, the authors noted that a poor prognosis, financial struggles, depression, and anxiety can all be involved. For example, watchful waiting can bring much anxiety to the prostate cancer patient. And bladder cancer patients may feel they’re becoming a burden to those who care for them.

What can healthcare providers do? Keeping our eyes open for suicidal thoughts among our patients – and getting them help - is the first step. While this may sound obvious, it’s important to know what to look for, how to talk to at-risk patients, and where to refer them if necessary. To that end, the study authors suggested the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for resources and guidelines.

However, we can also talk to our colleagues, especially if we are part of a cancer care team. Other providers might notice changes in patients that we don’t. We can also stay in touch with mental health organizations and learn more about the resources available in our community.

Print this article or view it as a PDF file here: Suicide Risk among Genitourinary Cancer Patients



Klaassen, Zachary, MD, et al.

“Factors associated with suicide in patients with genitourinary malignancies”

(Full-text. First published online: February 17, 2015)

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