Prostate cancer is a highly prevalent disease with a high likelihood of survival.
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If treated, survivors live with significant and lasting treatment-related side effects. Surgical treatment is associated with urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, and radiation leads to urinary and bowel irritability as well as erectile dysfunction. Patients who undergo hormonal treatment cope with sexual dysfunction, bone density loss, hot flashes, mood symptoms, and cardiac and metabolic disorders. Functional losses have a significant impact on patients and their partners' quality of life and are associated with distress and psychosocial morbidity. Psychosocial treatment is largely unavailable in usual care, but has been shown to reduce distress, to increase positive reappraisal of the illness, and to contribute to the recovery of sexual intimacy. Treatment for grief and mourning, typical reactions to loss, has not been introduced into psychosocial interventions but is increasingly recognized as a path toward a 'new normal' after prostate cancer treatment.
Wittmann D. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., USA.
Reference: Adv Psychosom Med. 2015;34:109-22.