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J Urol. 2003 Apr;169(4):1449-52.

Cancer fear and mood disturbance after radical prostatectomy: consequences of biochemical evidence of recurrence.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, 52242, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer often precedes any clinical sign or symptom of disease recurrence by several years. Thus, patients may have laboratory evidence of recurrence and do not know what it portends in terms of the future disease course. Little is known about the emotional consequences of biochemical recurrence. We compared cancer fear and mood disturbance in men with biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer versus those without recurrence. In addition, associations among urinary symptoms, cancer fear and mood disturbance were examined.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A survey including the American Urological Association symptom index, a cancer fear measure and the Profile of Mood States was mailed to patients at a urology clinic at a tertiary care hospital in 1999. Of the sample of 270 patients with prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy 126 (47%) responded to the mailed survey. A total of 45 men with biochemical prostate cancer recurrence were compared to 81 patients without recurrence.

RESULTS:

Higher urinary tract symptoms were associated with increased cancer fear and mood disturbance (each p <0.05). Biochemical cancer recurrence was not independently associated with increased cancer fear and mood disturbance. However, men with biochemical recurrence and more severe urinary tract symptoms reported the highest levels of cancer fear and mood disturbance (each p <0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

Psychological distress was highest in men with biochemical recurrence and elevated clinical symptoms. Urinary symptoms may be an important contributor to psychological distress in patients with prostate cancer who have biochemical recurrence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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