Fear of cancer recurrence in prostate cancer survivors.

Background High fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is an understudied topic in prostate cancer (PCa) survivors. This study aimed to detect the prevalence, consequences and characteristics associated with high FCR in PCa survivors. Material and methods This cross-sectional study included patients diagnosed with localized PCa and treated with curative radical prostatectomy between 1992 and 2012. We administered the Cancer Worry Scale (CWS) to assess FCR severity (primary outcome measure). Secondary outcomes included distress, quality of life (QOL), post-traumatic symptoms, and multidimensional aspects of FCR. χ(2)-tests, t-tests and Pearson's correlations examined the relationship between FCR and medical/demographic characteristics. MANOVA analyses and χ2-tests identified differences between PCa survivors with high and low FCR. Results Two hundred eighty-three PCa survivors (median age of 70.0 years) completed the questionnaires a median time of 7.1 years after surgery. About a third (36%) of all PCa survivors experienced high FCR. High FCR was associated with lower QOL, more physical problems, higher distress and more post-traumatic stress symptoms. PCa survivors with high FCR reported disease-related triggers (especially medical examinations), felt helpless and experienced problems in social relationships. High FCR was associated with a younger age and having received adjuvant radiotherapy. Conclusions Results illustrate that FCR is a significant problem in PCa survivors. Younger men and those treated with adjuvant radiotherapy are especially at risk. Those with high FCR experience worse QOL and higher symptom burden. Health care providers should pay specific attention to this problem and provide appropriate psychosocial care when needed.

Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden). 2016 Mar 03 [Epub ahead of print]

Marieke van de Wal, Inge van Oort, Joost Schouten, Belinda Thewes, Marieke Gielissen, Judith Prins

a Department of Medical Psychology , Radboud University Medical Center , Nijmegen , The Netherlands ;, b Department of Urology , Radboud University Medical Center , Nijmegen , The Netherlands., b Department of Urology , Radboud University Medical Center , Nijmegen , The Netherlands., a Department of Medical Psychology , Radboud University Medical Center , Nijmegen , The Netherlands ;, a Department of Medical Psychology , Radboud University Medical Center , Nijmegen , The Netherlands ;, a Department of Medical Psychology , Radboud University Medical Center , Nijmegen , The Netherlands ;