The following article features coverage from the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium meeting. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Greater attention to the psychological impact of receiving a diagnosis of early prostate cancer may be needed, according to findings of a prospective study presented at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held in San Francisco, California.

Even though early prostate cancer is often associated with a good prognosis and quality of life (QOL), a correlation may exist between illness perception and QOL and psychological distress. The researchers prospectively examined this correlation among 51 men with early prostate cancer and compared them to 65 healthy men controls, mean age 69 years.  All the men completed questionnaires on demographic, illness perception (IPQ-R), QOL (MOS SF-36) and anxiety, and depression (HADS).

The findings showed that the men differed in illness perception “consequences” (P <.001), “emotional representations” (P <.001)], and psychological distress (P <.01) compared with the controls. The study also showed that there was an association between the patient illness perception and QOL (P <.05) and psychological distress (P <.05). There was an association between psychological distress and QOL, which appeared to be mediated by illness perception (P <.05) in the men with cancer but not in the controls.

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The researchers concluded that greater attention may be warranted when it comes to the psychological impact of early prostate cancer. “Our results emphasize the need to identify patient distress and to implement therapeutic interventions also in a disease which usually is associated with a good prognosis,” write the authors.


Dresler H, Keizman D, Sarid D, Oren D. The psychological impact of early prostate cancer: a prospective evaluation. J Clin Oncol. 2020;38(suppl 6):abstr 210.