Cancer-related self-perception in men affected by prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy.

To identify factors associated with cancer-related self-perception after being affected by prostate cancer (PCa) and radical prostatectomy.

Men affected by PCa and radical prostatectomy were asked to choose one of 5 cancer-related identities ("patient," "victim," "someone who has had cancer," "cancer survivor," and "cancer conqueror"). Associations with clinical data, functional outcome (continence and sexual activity), and psychological factors were assessed.

One thousand seven hundred seventy-two men were included. Most men perceived themselves as "someone who has had cancer" (46.8%) which was associated with no cancer recurrence (OR: 0.54 [0.36-0.81]) and low cancer-related distress (OR: 0.69 [0.53-0.89]) or "patient" (35.4%) which was associated with ongoing therapy (OR: 2.59 [1.59-4.22]) and biochemical disease recurrence (OR: 1.91 [1.28-2.85]). Self-perception, as "cancer survivor" (7.8%), "cancer conqueror" (8.2%), or "victim" (1.8%), was less common. "Cancer survivor" was associated with high perceived disease severity (OR: 2.07 [1.33-3.24]) and incontinence (1.99 [1.27-3.12]). "Cancer survivor" and "cancer conqueror" were related to high benefit finding (OR: 2.05 [1.30-3.23], OR: 1.89 [1.27-2.81], respectively); only "cancer conqueror" was associated with higher quality of life (OR: 1.38 [1.21-1.58]).

Self-perception in men affected by PCa can vary widely and is associated with distinct characteristics that reflect the experienced severity of the disease, therapy side effects, and psychological well-being.

The assessment of cancer-related self-perception can give important insights when evaluating men affected by PCa who need assistance in coping with their disease.

Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice. 2022 Sep 13 [Epub ahead of print]

Matthias Jahnen, Luisa Lehner, Valentin H Meissner, Stefan Schiele, Helga Schulwitz, J├╝rgen E Gschwend, Kathleen Herkommer

Department of Urology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675, Munich, Germany. ., Department of Urology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675, Munich, Germany.

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