Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have found that depressed men with prostate cancer were more likely to have shorter survival times, receive less effective care and to be diagnosed with more aggressive prostate cancer when compared to their non-depressed counterparts.
The poor outcomes could be the result of depression’s effect on biological cancer processes, it’s impact on a patient’s motivation to care for his health or health care providers not doing enough to educate patients about prostate cancer screening and treatment, said study author Dr. Jim Hu, UCLA’s Henry E. Singleton Professor of Urology, in a press release.
The findings are based on data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Medicare database, which includes more than 41,000 men with a diagnoses of localized prostate cancer.
The research, notes Hu, sheds some light on the relationship between depression and prostate cancer outcomes, but further investigation is needed.
The study was published online this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.