According to research conducted at the Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, men who have prostate surgery as a treatment for prostate cancer are more likely to become depressed within a year of having the surgery.
This new study, which was published in the online edition of Psycho-Oncology, is suggesting that men who suffer from high levels of “cancer-specific anxiety” after they have prostate cancer surgery can significantly improve their quality of life by having therapy or counseling. While developing cancer is enough on its own to cause men to become depressed and experience anxiety about their futures, the inevitable fear for one’s life can sometimes take over.
“The 10-year survival for a man undergoing surgery to remove localized prostate cancer is greater than 95 percent. Given that the majority of men who undergo prostatectomy for prostate cancer will not die from their disease, we are concerned about what life will be like for these patients decades after diagnosis and treatment,” says the study’s senior investigator, Alexander Parker, Ph.D., an associate professor of epidemiology and urology.
Like most forms of cancer, prostate cancer has the potential to be deadly. However, it should be noted that most of the men who develop prostate cancer don’t die. In fact, the American Cancer Society says that most of the men who have developed prostate cancer are still alive. This means that the surgery is definitely extending the lives of sufferers. With this knowledge, it would be assumed that prostate cancer surgery gives men less reason to be depressed. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. Chances are this is because most people associate cancer with severe illness and death — simply upon hearing the word.
As for the depression itself, most of the time the condition is treated with antidepressant medications like Paxil or Effexor. While the pills may be able to help treat severe depression symptoms, the pills are also linked to serious and potentially fatal side effects. Most notably, men taking antidepressants may experience violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior.