Biopsychosocial impact of prostate cancer and androgen-deprivation therapy

Dean A. Tripp, Phylicia Verreault, Steven Tong, Jason Izard, Angela Black, D. Robert Siemens

Abstract


Introduction: Prostate cancer is the most non-cutaneous malignancy in men, and androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) is a cornerstone of management in advanced disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of ADT with changes in depression and mental and physical quality of life (QoL) within a prospective patient cohort design.

Methods: Patients were prospectively recruited and consented at a single academic health sciences centre in Ontario, Canada. Inclusion criteria included those men with adenocarcinoma of the prostate and either on watchful waiting or initiating ADT as palliation or as an adjuvant therapy for high-risk localized disease. All three cohorts were followed in routine care and completed psychosocial evaluations, including depression, social support, anxiety, and QoL measures.

Results: In comparison to the control cohort of patients with prostate cancer on watchful waiting, initiation of ADT over a two-year period of time was not associated with any changes in depression or mental QoL. Instead, all patients, regardless of treatment cohort, showed increased depression scores and reduced mental QoL scores over time; however, for patients receiving ADT, a significant reduction in physical QoL compared to patients who did not receive ADT was demonstrated.

Conclusions: ADT does not appear to significantly impact depressive symptoms and mental QoL over a two-year period; however, the depressive symptoms in this limited sample of men with prostate cancer was higher than expected and monitoring for these may be advisable for those who care for such patients.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.4499

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