Vasomotor symptoms in prostate cancer survivors undergoing androgen deprivation therapy

Objective Hot flushes and night sweats (HFNS) are common but under-researched in prostate cancer survivors undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT). We aimed to examine subjective reports and physiological measures of HFNS, and the influence of sociodemographic, clinical and psychological factors on HFNS in men undergoing ADT.

Methods Sixty-eight men undergoing ADT for prostate cancer attended an assessment interview, completed questionnaires (assessing HFNS frequency and problem-rating, mood, stress, optimism, somatosensory amplification, HFNS beliefs/behaviors) and wore an ambulatory sternal skin conductance (SSC) monitor for 48 h. Results The sample had a mean age of 69. 76 (standard deviation, SD = 8. 04) years, were on average 27. 24 (SD = 28. 53) months since cancer diagnosis and had been on their current ADT regime for 16 months (range 2-74 months). The men reported frequent (weekly mean 51. 04, SD = 33. 21) and moderately problematic HFNS. Overall, 294 (20%) of the SSC-defined HFNS were concordant with prospective frequency (event marker), while 63% were under-reported and 17% were over-reported, under-reporting being more common than over-reporting. There were no significant predictors of HFNS frequency (subjective or physiological measures), but psychological variables (HFNS beliefs and behaviors (β = 0. 56, p < 0. 03), anxiety (β = 0. 24, p < 0. 01) and somatic amplification (β = 0. 76, p < 0. 04) were the main predictors of problematic HFNS, i. e. troublesome symptoms. Conclusions These results are consistent with those of studies of women during menopause and breast cancer survivors, i. e. subjective and physiological measures appear to identify different HFNS dimensions. Psychological variables (HFNS beliefs and behaviors, anxiety and somatic amplification) can be targeted, using cognitive behavior therapy, for symptom relief.

Climacteric : the journal of the International Menopause Society. 2015 Dec 16 [Epub ahead of print]

M S Hunter, E Stefanopoulou

a Department of Psychology , Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London , London , UK. , a Department of Psychology , Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London , London , UK.



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