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Prostate Cancer is a “Couples Disease,” Scientists Say

Prostate Cancer is a “Couples Disease,” Scientists SayWhen a man has prostate cancer, his partner may feel the effects, too.

Those effects might not be direct, but they can greatly change a partner’s quality of life, according to a recent article in Urologic Nursing.

Prostate cancer is a “slow-growing disease,” the authors explained. Most men have a good prognosis, and treatment often focuses on a man’s quality of life in addition to the cancer itself.

Treatment can have side effects, however. Urinary incontinence and sexual problems frequently occur, and they may be permanent. Past research has analyzed patients’ views on their treatment. But for partners, little was known.

For the current study, researchers looked at 13 peer-reviewed, medical articles concerning prostate cancer and partners, focusing on papers that included comments from partners themselves.

Reading through the partner quotations, the researchers noticed some common threads (quotations from partners are in italics):

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