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Prostate Health: A Couples Problem

Impact of Prostate Cancer on Sexual Relationships


In this prospective study of localized prostate cancer patients and their partners, we analyzed how partner issues evolve over time, focusing on satisfaction with care, influence of cancer treatment, and its impact on relationship with patient, cancer worry, and personal activities.

Our study aims were twofold: (i) to determine whether the impact of treatment on patients and partners moderate over time and (ii) if receiving surgery (i.e., radical prostatectomy) influences partner issues more than other treatments.

Patients newly diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and their female partners were recruited from three states to complete surveys by mail at three time points over 12 months.

Main Outcome Measures
The four primary outcomes assessed in the partner analysis included satisfaction with treatment, cancer worry, and the influence of cancer and its treatment on their relationship (both general relationship and sexual relationship).

This analysis included 88 patient–partner pairs. At 6 months, partners reported that cancer had a negative impact on their sexual relationship (39%—somewhat negative and 12%—very negative). At 12 months, this proportion increased substantially (42%—somewhat negative and 29%—very negative). Partners were significantly more likely to report that their sexual relationship was worse when the patient reported having surgery (P?=?0.0045, odds ratio?=?9.8025, 95% confidence interval 2.076–46.296). A minority of partners reported significant negative impacts in other areas involving their personal activities (16% at 6 months and 25% at 12 months) or work life (6% at 6 months, which increased to 12% at 12 months).

From partners' perspectives, prostate cancer therapy has negative impact on sexual relationships and appears to worsen over time.


Impact of Prostate Cancer on Sexual Relationships: A Longitudinal Perspective on Intimate Partners' Experiences

  1. Scott D. Ramsey MD, PhD1
  2. Steven B. Zeliadt PhD, MPH2
  3. David K. Blough PhD2,3
  4. Carol M. Moinpour PhD1
  5. Ingrid J. Hall PhD, MPH4
  6. Judith Lee Smith PhD4,
  7. Donatus U. Ekwueme PhD4
  8. Catherine R. Fedorenko MMSc1
  9. Megan E. Fairweather MA1
  10. Lisel M. Koepl MPH1,*
  11. Ian M. Thompson MD5
  12. Thomas E. Keane MBBCh, FRCSI, FACS6
  13. David F. Penson MD, MPH7,8

Article first published online: 30 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1111/jsm.12295


Lifestyle and prostate cancer

Healthy Living May Keep Cells Young
Published: Sep 16, 2013, By John Gever, Deputy Managing Editor, MedPage Today, Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Men with low-risk prostate tumors who participated in a multifaceted lifestyle improvement program showed an increase in mean telomere length after 5 years, contrary to findings in a control group, a small study found.

Among 10 patients who volunteered for the intervention, the ratio of telomere to single-copy human beta-globin gene length increased from baseline by a median of 0.06 (interquartile range -0.05-0.11), whereas in 25 similar patients who underwent active surveillance for cancer and no other particular intervention, the ratio decreased by a median of 0.03 (IQR -0.05-0.03, P=0.03), reported Dean Ornish, MD, of the University of California San Francisco and the Preventive Medicine Research Institute (PMRI) in Sausalito, Calif., and colleagues.

Increases in telomere length were found in nine of the control patients (36%), compared with seven (70%) of the patients undergoing the intervention, Ornish and colleagues reported online in The Lancet Oncology.

Telomeres are the end-caps on chromosomes that, under normal circumstances, grow shorter with each round of cell division. When they reach a certain critical length, cells stop dividing and eventually senesce and die.

The intervention was comprised of a plant-based diet low in fats and refined carbohydrates, moderate walking-based exercise, weekly group meetings to build social support, and daily hour-long stress reduction exercises including stretching, breathing, meditation, and progressive relaxation.


Percent of depressed men comparable to women: study

Percent of depressed men comparable to women: study

Wednesday, August 28, 2013, MedlinePlus Pages, By Andrew M. Seaman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The proportion of men who experience symptoms of depression may be similar to the proportion of women with depression when doctors look for non-traditional symptoms, according to a new study.

Researchers found that one third of both men and women met the criteria for a depression diagnosis when traditional and alternative symptoms - such as aggression and sleep problems - were taken into account.

"You end up getting very similar rates of depression," Lisa Martin, the study's lead author from the University of Michigan in Dearborn, told Reuters Health.

About 16 percent of Americans currently meet the criteria for depression, Martin and her colleagues write in JAMA Psychiatry. Previous research has found women are about twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with the condition.

Other studies, however, have suggested that men don't exhibit the same symptoms of depression as women. Or, they may not be as willing to divulge their symptoms to a doctor.

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