"The message for men with prostate cancer is this; it is good to be partnered and have a support system following treatment," said Dr. Mark Litwin, the study's senior author, a professor of urology and public health and a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher. "Now we need to find a way to encourage the use of support groups and support systems in patients who aren't married or in relationships so they can do better, too."
Assessing quality of life in prostate cancer patients is vital because many patients can live a long time with their disease, said Dr. John Gore, a urologist and the study's first author.
"Quality of life is important because the quantity of life can be extensive for these patients," Gore said. "We want quality of life to be as good as possible."
Litwin, Gore and the research team focused on a severely disadvantaged group of prostate cancer patients in the study low-income and uninsured or underinsured men enrolled in IMPACT, a state-funded public assistance program created at UCLA that provides free prostate cancer care. The study participants - 211 married or partnered men and 80 single men - answered a battery of quality of life questions in three questionnaires sent out every six months for 18 months. The questions assessed mental health, spirituality, stress created by urinary function or dysfunction and adverse affects cause
Contact: Kim Irwin
University of California - Los Angeles