'Watchful waiting' in prostate cancer does not raise anxiety

Men with prostate cancer who opt for a 'watchful waiting' approach to treatment do not experience greater anxiety than men who undergo active treatment, the findings of a Dutch study suggest.

By Joanne Ellul

Researchers from Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam followed 129 men who had opted for active surveillance of recently diagnosed prostate cancer. They assessed the men's uncertainty regarding the treatment decision, depression, general anxiety, and anxiety specific to prostrate cancer.

They found that the men who opted for active surveillance had a similar or better emotional state when compared with men given active treatment.

However, men who opted for active surveillance were more likely to be uncertain about their treatment decision when they perceived that their doctor had played an important role in making that choice. Also, men with a neurotic personality were more likely than others to be depressed and to experience general and prostrate cancer-related anxiety.

The researchers said that the findings may help to improve patient selection for active surveillance or to select men for supportive measures.

The study has been published online in the journal Cancer.




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