Prostate Cancer Survival May Be Especially Tough on Gay Men

Post-treatment quality of life scores worse than for heterosexuals, study finds

MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Gay men have a lower health-related quality of life than other men after prostate cancer treatment, a new study finds.

The study included 92 gay men in the United States and Canada who completed an Internet survey that included the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index (EPIC), which is designed to assess patient function after cancer treatment, and a widely used questionnaire on male sexual health. They also answered questions about their fears of cancer recurrence.

The gay men's responses were compared to data from men in the general population collected in previous published research.

Compared to men in the general population, gay men reported statistically significant worse functioning and more severe bother scores on the EPIC urinary, bowel and hormonal system scales. Gay men also reported worse EPIC sexual and ejaculatory functioning scores, as well as much worse mental health functioning and higher fear of cancer recurrence.

The study, presented Sunday at the American Urological Association's annual scientific meeting in Washington, D.C., is one of the first to examine the impact of prostate cancer on gay men.

"This is one of the early studies demonstrating that quality of life is more significantly impacted by prostate cancer in the gay population," Dr. Tomas L. Griebling, an AUA spokesman, said in an association news release. "More research is needed to determine what steps we can take to diminish these impacts."

Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about prostate cancer.

Robert Preidt SOURCE: American Urological Association, news release, May 15, 2011

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