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23-11-2015 | Genitourinary cancers | Article

Mode of prostate cancer detection is associated with the psychological wellbeing of survivors: results from the PiCTure study

Supportive Care in Cancer

Authors: Frances J. Drummond, Eamonn O’Leary, Anna Gavin, Heather Kinnear, Linda Sharp

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg


Many men with prostate cancer are asymptomatic, diagnosed following prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing. We investigate whether mode of detection, i.e. ‘PSA detected’ or ‘clinically detected’, was associated with psychological wellbeing among prostate cancer survivors.
A cross-sectional postal questionnaire was administered in 2012 to 6559 prostate cancer (ICD10 C61) survivors up to 18 years post-diagnosis, identified through population-based cancer registries in Ireland. Psychological wellbeing was assessed using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21. Logistic regression was used to investigate associations between mode of detection and depression, anxiety and stress, adjusting for socio-demographic and clinical confounders.
The response rate was 54 % (3348/6262). Fifty-nine percent of survivors were diagnosed with asymptomatic PSA-tested disease. Prevalence of depression (13.8 vs 20.7 %; p < 0.001), anxiety (13.6 vs 20.9 %; p < 0.001) and stress (8.7 vs 13.8 %; p < 0.001) were significantly lower among survivors diagnosed with PSA-detected, than clinically detected disease. After adjusting for clinical and socio-demographic factors, survivors with clinically detected disease had significantly higher risk of depression (odds ratio (OR) = 1.46 95 % CI 1.18, 1.80; p = 0.001), anxiety (OR = 1.36 95 % CI 1.09, 1.68; p = 0.006) and stress (OR = 1.43 95 % CI 1.11, 1.85; p = 0.006) than survivors with PSA-detected disease.
These findings contribute to the ongoing debate on benefits and risks of PSA testing and may be considered by policy makers formulating population-based prostate cancer screening policies. The relatively high prevalence of negative psychological states among survivors means that a ‘risk-adapted approach’ should be implemented to screen survivors most at risk of psychological morbidity for psychological health, and mode of detection could be considered as a risk stratum.

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