Prostate cancer patients who have surgery to remove the gland frequently experience significant levels of depression and anxiety one year after surgery, a new study shows.
Mayo Clinic researchers said their findings, reported online in the journal Psycho-Oncology , said the mental health conditions are typically linked to poor sexual satisfaction after surgery.
They also suggest men who experience high levels of "cancer-specific anxiety" following surgery for prostate cancer could benefit from counseling designed to address their worries and improve their quality of life.SPECIAL: This Small Group of Doctors are Quietly Curing Cancer — Read More.
"The 10-year survival for a man undergoing surgery to remove localized prostate cancer is greater than 95 percent,” noted lead researcher Alexander Parker, an associate professor of epidemiology and urology.
“Given that the majority of men who undergo prostatectomy for prostate cancer will not die from their disease, we are concerned about what life will be like for these patients decades after diagnosis and treatment."
For the study, researchers tracked 365 men who, one year after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, completed questionnaires designed to gauge their levels of anxiety, erectile function, sexual satisfaction, and depression.
The results showed that those men who reported high anxiety levels are more likely to report low sexual satisfaction and a high rate of depression symptoms.
"What is interesting from the sexual health standpoint is we observed that anxiety was not linked to poor erectile function per se but was linked to low levels of sexual satisfaction," Parker said. "If our results can be confirmed by other investigators, it would suggest that anxiety is not affecting some men's ability to perform sexually but perhaps more their ability to enjoy their sex life." SPECIAL: This Small Group of Doctors are Quietly Curing Cancer — Read More.
Prostate cancer can be a life-threatening disease, but most patients do not die from it. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2.5 million men in the United States are living with prostate cancer.