I just received this alarming message on my newswire. I can’t comment on it now because my elderly mother is here. But we, as a community, must provide extra support and resources to younger patients, and do it in a timely way, up front when they are diagnosed. It is absolutely critical. (Note: emphases in article are mine.)
Renal and Urology News: Men Take PCa Diagnosis Hard
by Jody Charnow
April 11, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO—Men recently diagnosed with prostate cancer are at elevated risk of cardiovascular death and suicide, according to separate analyses of a cohort of Swedish men.
The risk of both is highest within a week after men receive their diagnosis and among men aged 54 years and younger, researchers reported here at the 2008 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium. The studies were conducted by investigators at the Karolinska Institute in
Men aged 54 years or less were at five times higher risk of suicide compared with men without prostate cancer. The risk was nearly twofold higher among men aged 55-64 and 2.7 and 2.6 times higher among men aged 65-74 and 75 years and older, respectively. Suicide risk was eight times higher within seven days of diagnosis, and 2.7, 3.0, and 1.9 times higher 8-28, 29-183, and 184-366 days after diagnosis, respectively, compared with men without prostate cancer. Suicide risk was slightly greater in men without partners and in those with a lower education level.
The investigators said the increased risk of cardiovascular deaths and suicides immediately following a prostate cancer diagnosis illustrates that such a diagnosis is a severely stressful event. This vulnerable group of patents may benefit from careful delivery of the diagnostic message and supportive services offered immediately after the diagnosis, the researchers concluded.
The symposium was sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology, and the Society of Urologic Oncology.