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

Over time, the scientists saw that the men with worse urinary, bowel, and sexual function were more distressed than the men with better function. At the same time, men who said they felt more distressed tended to have more trouble with their urinary, bowel, and sexual function.

Prostate cancer survivors’ distress needs attention, the study authors said.

“There is growing appreciation for the need to support cancer survivors’ emotional well-being during survivorship, and for prostate cancer patients a key concern is mitigating the influence of treatment side effects on quality of life, including psychological well-being,” explained lead author Heather Orom, PhD of the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions in a news release.

Co-author Willie Underwood III, MD of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center added, “As urologists, we want men who are treated for prostate cancer to return to their way of life. In order to do so, we must determine better ways to assist men through their emotional distress. Curing their cancer is only the beginning to making them whole.”

The authors recommended that erectile dysfunction (ED) treatments be more accessible to prostate cancer survivors and that therapies be easily available to patients with high levels of distress.

Please see these links to learn more about prostate cancer, its treatment, and its effects on patients and partners:

Prostate Cancer (overview)

How Does Cancer Affect Men’s Sexual Health?

Survey Reveals the Emotional Impact of Prostate Cancer

Sexuality of Older Cancer Survivors

Prostate Cancer Effects on Caregiving Partners


The Journal of Urology

Orom, Heather

“Worse Urinary, Sexual and Bowel Function Cause Emotional Distress and Vice Versa in Men Treated for Prostate Cancer”

(Abstract. Published online: December 26, 2018)

University of Buffalo

“Study: For patients with prostate cancer, dysfunction due to treatment side effects results in increased emotional distress – and vice versa”

(Press release. May 31, 2018)

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