Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Mon, July 22

Prostate cancer can impact mental health

The Arizona Department of Health Services has created a library of health topics viewed through the lens of both behavioral health and primary health. Each quarter, a new focus area is addressed. While the mental health impacts may not be top of mind if you are dealing with a prostate cancer diagnosis, they are too important to ignore.

According to the ADHS health initiative data, after skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. It affects 1 in 6 men. Nearly 75 men in America die of prostate cancer every day. The cancer is caused by cells growing abnormally in the prostate, a male sex gland that sits underneath the bladder, surrounding the urethra. Often there are no symptoms or signs of prostate cancer. However, after months or even years of having the disease, symptoms may occur and can include difficult, painful, or bloody urination and ejaculation and pain or stiffness in the lower back, pelvis, hips, or upper thighs.

While all men are at some risk for this type of cancer, the following factors may increase your risk of prostate cancer:

• A history of prostate cancer in your family.

• Behaviors like daily or heavy alcoholic drinking, not exercising, and a poor diet.

• A history of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly trichomoniasis.

• Being 50 or older - the chance for prostate cancer increases every year.

• African American men have the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world.

Those dealing with prostate cancer may exhibit these common behaviors:

• Anxiety/Stress - Frequently reported as the most common psychological reaction after diagnosis, intense and highly focused anxiety needs to be recognized early even if the patient denies any psychological distress. A Journal of Urology study reports it can encourage patients to request premature or unnecessary therapies.

• Depression - Feelings of anger, sadness, insomnia, helplessness, fear, loss of self-esteem, or denial are commonly associated with patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. Depression is becoming more and more common, making it imperative healthcare providers screen for it, intervene, and provide open opportunities to discuss the patient's mental health.

• Suicide - A study of more than 340,000 prostate cancer patients shows a diagnosis roughly doubles one's risk of suicide, suggesting more men need counseling and support after diagnosis. Also, the incidence of suicide among older men with prostate cancer has been found higher than previously recognized.

For more information on this and other physical/mental health issues, go to


This Week's Circulars

To view money-saving ads...