MEN with prostate cancer are at a higher risk of suicide than their peers, according to a study by Cancer Council NSW.
The study found that men diagnosed with prostate cancer are at a 70 per cent increased risk of suicide, compared to the general male population.
Cancer Council senior research fellow Associate Professor David Smith said over the ten years the study looked at over 51,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, with 49 of them taking their own life.
“We also found that the risk of men whose cancer had spread was greatest – 2.7 times higher than for those with localised disease,” said Associate Professor Smith.
He said single, divorced, widowed or separated prostate cancer survivors were over four times more likely to take their own life, compared to married survivors.
“Due to improved detection and diagnosis, the number of men surviving long after diagnosis has been steadily increasing,” said Associate Professor Smith.
“Our findings just reflect the tip of the iceberg in the spectrum of psychological stress that men with prostate cancer experience.
“While we need more research in this area, we know that vulnerable or lonely men and those with pre-existing depression or suicidal ideation who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should be offered additional support.”
Cancer Council NSW encourages all prostate cancer patients and survivors to use its support services.
“For example, 13 11 20 is a confidential service where people affected by cancer and their families and friends can speak to a specialist cancer professional about anything to do with cancer,” said Annie Miller, Director of Cancer Information and Support Services at Cancer Council NSW.
“A lot of the prostate cancer patients and survivors who call 13 11 20 want to talk about emotional or psychological issues related to their diagnosis.”
- Crisis support can be found at Lifeline: (13 11 14 and lifeline.org.au), the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467 and suicidecallbackservice.org.au) and beyondblue (1300 22 4636 and beyondblue.org.au)
PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is asking Australia to get involved and help create awareness and raise the much needed funds to help in the fight against prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia with 20,000 diagnosis and close to 3300 deaths each year.
To find an event near you CLICK HERE