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Prostate Cancer’s Physical and Emotional Effects May be “Reciprocal”

Prostate Cancer’s Physical and Emotional Effects May be “Reciprocal”Undergoing prostate cancer treatment can leave men both physically and emotionally spent. Common approaches like surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy often have side effects, including problems with urinary and bowel function, sexual function, and fatigue.  The stress of a cancer diagnosis and feeling unwell, along with concerns about meeting obligations and planning for the future, may be overwhelming.

The physical and emotional impacts of prostate cancer might fuel each other, too.  In a recent Journal of Urology study, scientists reported on the “reciprocal” relationship between physical and emotional aspects of prostate cancer treatment.

Researchers asked 1,148 men with localized prostate cancer to complete questionnaires related to their urinary, sexual, and bowel health as well as their emotional distress. (“Localized” means that the cancer had not spread to other parts of the body.) Sixty-three percent of the patients had been treated with surgery; the rest had undergone radiotherapy.

The men filled out the questionnaires before their treatment and again at follow up points scheduled 6, 12, 18, and 24 months later.

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