Researchers from the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY have found that the anxiety men often experience after being diagnosed with prostate cancer could lead to potentially unnecessary treatment options.
“We have spent the past 6 years studying a cohort of men diagnosed with clinically localized prostate cancer from shortly after diagnosis to, in some cases, as long as 4 years after treatment,” co-author Willie Underwood, III, MD, MS, MPH, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute told Urology Times. “This study is part of a larger study, called the Live Well and Live Long Study, in which we set out to study treatment decision-making and quality of life in survivorship.”
There were just over 2,000 men in the larger study who were recruited at three community clinics and two comprehensive cancer centers. The men joined the study shortly after they were diagnosed and they all had clinically localized prostate cancer.
“For these analyses we included responses from 1,531 men who had responded to surveys both when they first enrolled in the study as well as after they made the decision about how to treat their cancer, and for whom we had abstracted clinical information from their medical records,” lead author Heather Orom, PhD, of the University at Buffalo told Urology Times. “We asked men to indicate their level of emotional distress using a visual analogue distress scale both when they joined the study shortly after diagnosis and at the time they completed the survey about their treatment decision.”
From there, the authors identified how men were treated based on information from their medical records. When they examined whether emotional distress was related to their treatment choice, they statistically controlled for the aggressiveness of their disease, whether they had comorbidities that typically affect the kind of treatment men receive, where they were treated, and their demographic characteristics.