Men too optimistic over prostate cancer recovery, study argues

10 August 2011

Preoperative education and postoperative counselling are inadequately preparing men for dealing with prostate cancer, a new study has claimed.

Research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that nearly 50 per cent of men expected better recovery from cancer treatment symptoms than they actually achieved one year on.

Published in the Journal of Urology, the study also revealed that a small proportion of men believed they would experience better sexual and urinary side-effects after surgery than before, which is the exact opposite of the common reality.

"When we provide preoperative education, we can only inform men in terms of overall statistics. We can't predict for the individual," said Daniela Wittmann, lead study author and medical social worker at the university's prostate cancer survivorship programme.

She added: "This may mean that, if in doubt, people tend toward being hopeful and optimistic, perhaps overly optimistic."

The paper comes following a medical study into the overall clinical effectiveness of prostate cancer treatments, published in the British Journal of Urology International.

It illustrated how a combination of radical cystectomy surgery combined with specifically targeted chemotherapy treatment produced low death rates and acceptable clinical outcomes.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1 Wittmann, Daniela, Chang He, et al., "Patient Preoperative Expectations of Urinary, Bowel, Hormonal and Sexual Functioning Do Not Match Actual Outcomes 1 Year After Radical Prostatectomy". Journal of Urology. Monday August 8th 2011.

2 Yafi, Faysal A., et al., " Contemporary outcomes of 2287 patients with bladder cancer who were treated with radical cystectomy: a Canadian multicentre experience". British Journal of Urology International. Monday August 8th 2011.

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