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Anxiety Influences Treatment Decision in Prostate Cancer

Impact similar to changes in prostate specific antigen with time

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Feelings of anxiety can spur prostate cancer patients to decide to move from surveillance to treatment as much as changes in prostate specific antigen values, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Urology.

David M. Latini, Ph.D., from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and colleagues examined prostate cancer anxiety via a three-item scale in 105 men with localized disease who had at least three prostate specific antigen (PSA) values available after baseline.

The researchers found that the change in PSA with time (PSA velocity) and cancer anxiety with time independently and significantly predicted the decision to move from surveillance to treatment (hazard ratio, 1.02). A higher PSA velocity (1.51 ng/mL per year or greater) increased the likelihood of receiving treatment (hazard ratio 3.18).

"Rather than being based only on clinical presentation and disease progression, decisions about treatment receipt for some men are influenced by cancer-related anxiety," Latini and colleagues conclude. "Men should be provided with more psychosocial support to perhaps delay treatment and the ensuing decrements in health-related quality of life."

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