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Stress Levels With Prostate Active Surveillance Measured

-- Jeff Muise

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Most men with early prostate cancer who are following the active surveillance protocol are generally able to manage the mental stress of their situation very well; factors such as a neurotic personality score, high prostate-specific antigen, and poor health are associated with increased anxiety, according to a study published online July 27 in Cancer.

Roderick C.N. van den Bergh, M.D., of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues studied the mental health effects of the active surveillance protocol, in which men with early prostate cancer are monitored but not treated. The researchers administered questionnaires on depression, decisional conflict, general anxiety, and prostate cancer-specific anxiety to 150 subjects.

The researchers found that large majorities of the respondents scored better than the reference value in the medical literature for each category measured: 81 percent for decisional conflict, 92 percent for depression, 83 percent for generic anxiety, and 93 percent for prostate cancer-specific anxiety. Also, scores were comparable to, or better than, men who underwent other therapies for localized prostate cancer. Having a neurotic personality was associated with higher depression and both general and prostate cancer-specific anxiety, while having a higher prostate-specific antigen level was associated with higher prostate cancer-specific anxiety.

"Men on protocol-based active surveillance mainly reported favorable levels of anxiety and distress. A neurotic personality score was associated with unfavorable effects. These findings may help to optimize patient selection for active surveillance or to select men for supportive measures," the authors conclude.

The study was supported by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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