Prostate cancer patients experiencing low quality of life
- 1 in 6 men are likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime.
- 10 years after the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, Australian men have 35-40% lower physical and mental quality of life.
- New models of care are needed to ensure men are not suffering through their symptoms in silence.
A 10-year study followed more than 1000 men after a prostate cancer diagnosis. Despite high survival rates, the diagnosis is a major life stress that is often followed by challenging treatment-related symptoms.
Co-author of the research, Professor Suzanne Chambers AO, Dean of the Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney and Chair of the Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship, says “up to one in four men experience anxiety and up to one in five report depression, with an increased risk of suicide".
“Health service providers and policy makers need to prioritise and fund new models of care to ensure men are not suffering through their symptoms in silence”.
While every situation is different, new research suggests these symptoms are more evident for single men with multiple conditions and from socio-economic disadvantage.
There are over 200,000 Australian men alive today after their diagnosis, with around 20,000 Australian men diagnosed each year.
An important step in the right direction, is to increase awareness of the daily struggles prostate cancer survivor’s experience and ensure support services are routinely available. This includes the screening of men affected by prostate cancer for quality of life concerns.