“Caregivers of men with prostate cancer suffer too”
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Wives and other caregivers of men with prostate
cancer may be at risk of anxiety, fatigue and other symptoms that exact a
toll on the quality of their lives, a study published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests.
The findings, say researchers, suggest that many family caregivers need help
as well — for the sake of their own health and that of the cancer patient.
Of the 60 female caregivers in the study:
- 40 percent had significant anxiety symptoms
- 12 percent were suffering from depression
- About one-third reported substantial fatigue or sleep disturbances; and
- Another 15 percent complained of bodily pain
The women, mostly wives, were 64 years old, on average, and their rates of
each of these conditions surpassed the average for U.S. women their age, the
researchers point out.
I do believe there is such a connection between us and our loved ones that we begin to almost “mimic” their symptoms.
The stress caregivers face is very real–and can be very dangerous.
Education is the first step–even the doctors our loved ones are seeing for their illnesses need to keep a watchful eye for the spouses and caregivers.
Afterall, without family caregivers, our loved ones would truly suffer.
~Carol D. O’Dell