The statistics are shocking; men with prostate cancer are twice as likely to commit suicide! Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden have devised a method to try and cut back on the number of suicides. Their method involves putting intrusive thoughts into words with the goal of reducing the risks.

In a study researchers surveyed the thoughts of 833 Swedish men before and after surgery for prostate cancer. The suicide rate in this group is high, and the aim of the study was to map the men’s thoughts.

One in Four Thought About Death

They found that 73% of the men had sudden involuntary negative intrusive thoughts about their cancer at some point before surgery, and almost 60% still had these thoughts three months after surgery. Thordis Thorsteinsdottir, in whose thesis the results are reported found that “One in four thought about their own death at least once a week.”

Lower Perceived Quality of Life

Her thesis shows that men who do not expect to be cured by the treatment have negative intrusive thoughts more often than the normal population. “Men who often think these thoughts about their prostate cancer before surgery are more likely to have low or moderate perceived quality of life three months afterwards,” says Thorsteinsdottir.

New Method Can Reduce Intrusive Thoughts

Her thesis discusses a method which can reduce these intrusive thoughts. Known as expressive writing, the method has been tested on other cancer patients with good results and involv