Prostate Cancer Survey Highlights Impact on Social, Emotional Well-Being

–ProstateCancer.net helps meet patients’ need for information, support and connection–

April 12, 2018

The emotional impact of prostate cancer – from diagnosis to side effects from treatments – often outweighs the physical impact, according to “Prostate Cancer In America,” a national survey by Health Union, LLC of men with prostate cancer and their caregivers.

The survey supports the launch of ProstateCancer.net, which provides an online ecosystem to support, educate and connect people impacted by prostate cancer.

Chief among factors that negatively impact quality of life for men with prostate cancer is sexual dysfunction, with 64 percent of respondents saying they were not at all satisfied with their sex lives. Some associated sexual and relationship issues with no longer “feeling like a man” or their partner leaving.

Nearly a quarter of respondents who experienced prostate cancer symptoms said erectile dysfunction affected their day-to-day experiences more than other prominent symptoms, such as fatigue (20 percent) and overactive bladder (19 percent). More than half of patients said they currently experience sexual dysfunction.

“The impact of prostate cancer on mental and emotional health is a powerful underlying theme throughout much of our Prostate Cancer in America survey results,” said Olivier Chateau, Health Union CEO and co-founder. “ProstateCancer.net meets an important need for people living with this condition, providing a unique opportunity to learn, share experiences, and connect with others about all aspects of life with prostate cancer.”

In terms of emotional well-being, 62 percent of respondents said they felt at least a little sad, and 68 percent are at least a little worried their condition will get worse. Additionally, nearly one in 10 patients said they were also diagnosed with anxiety or panic disorders (9 percent) or a mood disorder (8 percent), such as depression.

While nearly four in 10 prostate cancer patient respondents were in remission, the emotional impact often continues. One respondent said that, while breast cancer survival is often considered a badge of honor, “men who survive prostate cancer wear it as a badge of shame.”

Three-quarters of patients said they were satisfied with the care they’ve received; however, many lament a lack of mental health support, resources and treatment from their healthcare providers. Specifically, many men said they wished there was more support in combating depression and anxiety.

Prostate Cancer in America surveyed 953 U.S. respondents – representing both prostate cancer patients and caregivers – from Oct. 19, 2017 to Jan. 31, 2018. A summary infographic of the results is available on ProstateCancer.net; additional survey results are available upon request.

About Health Union, LLC

Health Union integrates the power of human connection and technology, uniting people in the shared experiences of life with chronic health conditions. The company creates condition-specific online ecosystems – publishing original, daily content and continuously cultivating social conversation – to support, educate and connect millions of people with challenging, chronic health concerns. Today, the Health Union family of brands includes 17 online health communities, including ProstateCancer.net, MultipleSclerosis.net, LungCancer.net and Type2Diabetes.com.