Single men may forgo retreatment of prostate cancer

Single men with Prostate cancer that has spread to the bone are less likely to receive repeat radiation therapy to alleviate the pain than their married counterparts, a team at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia reports.

Dr. Andre Konski presented the results of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology annual meeting, being held this week in Denver.

Investigators analyzed data from men with metastatic Prostate cancer who were treated with various radiation doses. The main objective was to evaluate outcomes based upon marital status.

Konski found that single men were less likely to seek retreatment than married men.

Symptoms of Prostate cancer

With the advent of PSA testing, most prostate cancers are now found before they cause symptoms. Additionally, while most of the symptoms listed below can be associated with prostate cancer, they are more likely to be associated with non-cancerous conditions.

  • Urinary hesitancy (delayed or slowed start of urinary stream)  
  • Urinary dribbling, especially immediately after urinating  
  • Urinary retention  
  • Pain with urination  
  • Pain with ejaculation  
  • Lower back pain  
  • Pain with bowel movement

Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:

  • Excessive urination at night  
  • Incontinence  
  • Bone pain or tenderness  
  • hematuria (blood in the urine)  
  • Abdominal pain  
  • Anemia  
  • Unintentional weight loss  
  • Lethargy

For more information check: Prostate cancer

The difference in retreatment rates may be due to less social support and encouragement among single men, Konski said. “We need to come up with strategies to support them, such as nurse follow-up and patient navigators who can help them through the healthcare system.”

“We are just starting to scratch the surface of this population as far as what they need or their attitudes,” he told. He added that these findings “might suggest a more aggressive first treatment, knowing that the patient is unlikely to come back.”

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 8, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.