19 August 2021

Nearly one in ten men have worries nine years or more after prostate cancer surgery, study finds

Many men who have been treated for prostate cancer have a long-lasting fear of recurrence – even 10 or more years after treatment. This is the finding of a new analysis from a German team, published in the American Cancer Society journal Cancer.

The researchers examined questionnaire results from 2,417 men who had had their prostates removed. They answered questions about their fear of recurrence at an initial assessment and at a follow-up nine years later. The responses revealed that 6.5% of men had a high fear of recurrence at the initial assessment, increasing to 8.4% of men nine years later.

The researchers found that recurrence fears seem to increase as time goes by after surgery. Those more likely to have a high fear of recurrence are those with lower levels of education, those who had signs of recurrence in the first years after treatment, those currently receiving cancer therapy, and those who are anxious.

Study lead author Valentin Meissner from the Department of Urology at the Technical University of Munich, said: “Since fear of cancer recurrence remains a burden to certain prostate cancer survivors even many years after their diagnosis and treatment, health care professionals should monitor for it to identify patients at risk and provide appropriate psychosocial care, because fear of recurrence is leading to limitations in quality of life and psychological well‐being,"