New research by Cancer Council NSW has found that over one third of long-term Australian prostate cancer survivors need more supportive care than they are getting. Around 37% of the men participating in a recent study reported at least one unmet supportive care need 15 years on from their diagnosis.
The study found that the majority of men continued to report needs that were unsatisfied or not sufficiently addressed in terms of their comprehensive cancer care (34%), including lack of medical team coordination and control over the treatment process. Another common concern was ongoing problems with sexual function (13%). Of the men who reported this concern, 87% rated this need as moderate/severe.
Associate Professor David Smith from Cancer Council NSW says that Men’s Health Week 2020 can be an opportunity to draw attention to these issues for thousands of men across the country.
“Australia has one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world with over 16,700 men expected to be diagnosed this year alone. Due to improved detection and diagnosis, the number of men surviving long after diagnosis has been steadily increasing. This latest research shows that a significant proportion of these men are still suffering the consequences of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment more than a decade after diagnosis and don’t feel they are getting the support they need.”
In a previous study, we found that men diagnosed with prostate cancer are at a 70% increased risk of suicide than other men.
“In a previous study, we found that men diagnosed with prostate cancer are at a 70% increased risk of suicide than other men. Men’s Health Week 2020 is all about ‘preventing suicide together’ and this study highlights how these men who are at increased risk of suicide could be better supported.”
This latest paper concluded that there is a pressing necessity for clinicians to work better together to coordinate prostate cancer care, and to actively enquire about and support men’s sexual adjustment to prostate cancer.
“This paper has shown there is a real need to start regularly assessing and managing the physical and mental effects of prostate cancer and related treatment on survivors, as we see these issues have now translated into long-term needs that remained unsatisfied in the current study. We need to be better at talking with men about the common mental health and quality of life concerns during treatment and disease management. This will allow us to identify those men struggling in the wake of their prostate cancer diagnosis and ultimately help to normalize conversations around these issues.”
“This Men’s Health Week, I would encourage all Australians to check in on the men in your lives and if you or someone you know needs cancer information or support, please call Cancer Council NSW on 13 11 20”.
Source: Cancer Council NSW