Decision Time: The Emotional Impact of Prostate Cancer

   June 10, 2014   

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NEW YORK, NY (Marketwired – Jun 10, 2014)

Following the initial jolt of a prostate cancer diagnosis, men, and their partners or families face ongoing emotional conflicts associated with choosing a treatment path. Weighing prostate cancer treatment options, outcomes, and quality of life after prostate cancer is a time of conflict and emotional strain for newly diagnosed men. A recent study found that variables in patient education and prostate cancer knowledge were key differentiators in the degree of patient decisional conflict.
Robotic prostate surgeon, David Samadi, MD, Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, works closely with his patients at the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment and recovery. While Dr. Samadi’s own expertise lies in robotic prostate surgery, specifically his custom Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique (SMART) Surgery, he and his colleagues at the Lenox Hill Hospital Prostate Cancer Center offer skilled counsel in all treatment options, including prostate cancer hormone therapy and radiation therapy.
“A cancer diagnosis should never be taken lightly,” said Dr. Samadi. “But a large percentage of men know the
importance of regular screening and are diagnosed early. For them, treatment can be highly successful. The conversation is about laying out options and assessing lifestyle goals. For most men, robotic prostate surgery makes preserving quality of life after prostate cancer highly probable.”
The decisional conflict study included men of a mean age of 63 years, half of whom were African American. Overall, men who had poor prostate cancer knowledge experienced increased decisional conflict and greater uncertainty about their treatment decision. Older men had a lower perceived effectiveness of decision-making, as did all men with poor disease knowledge.
Study findings were published in The Journal of Urology, April 2014, http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347%2814%2900814-3/fulltext
Despite the volume of medical information online, it should never replace face-to-face consultations with
experienced prostate cancer physicians. “Men should do their homework,” said Dr. Samadi. “Know who’s out there, ask pointed questions about success rates, patient volume, and hospital reputation. Particularly with robotic surgery, it’s not a time to choose the most convenient option. Surgeon selection means everything.”

Interestingly, the study participants who were in a relationship felt more at ease with their prostate cancer treatment decision, suggesting the value of emotional support and shared decision-making. Earlier studies have found that married men also experience greater prostate cancer recovery odds then their single counterparts.
“We meet with men and their families every day,” said Dr. Samadi. “They become part of our family and we certainly recognize the health benefits of emotional support, patient education, and a strong network of compassionate, empathetic peers. We strive to provide that to all patients, here and abroad.”

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