At least one new study has revealed the relationship between aggressive chemotherapy prostate cancer treatments and the likelihood that the patient will be using antidepressants to manage the psychological toll of undergoing such treatments.
Stress on the Mind as Well as the Body
Being treated for an aggressive prostate cancer calls for some aggressive treatments in kind. Chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are both high-stress treatments with some substantial possible side effects, used only when the alternative is unchecked cancer. The stress this places on the body of a prostate cancer patient, as well as on the mind of that patient, can be hard to manage at times.
This is why it comes as no surprise that research into the prevalence of antidepressant use in men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancers has revealed that there’s a direct correlation between the two. A scientific study published in the journal European Urology has shown that patients treated with radiation treatment are more likely to be prescribed antidepressants to help manage the psychological stress of undergoing such treatments.
Mental Health Awareness
Suffice to say that it’s nerve-wracking to be given any type of negative diagnosis, let alone learning that you may have cancer. It’s therefore understandable that the kind of fear and anxiety that can generate alone is enough to have many asking for an antidepressant prescription. At the same time, the nature of prostate cancer, and how varied a diagnosis can be, means that there are a number of variables that come into play as to how aggressive a patient’s prostate cancer will be.
The research actually bears this out. In fact, scientists found that patients diagnosed with relatively manageable prostate cancers, ones that only needed active surveillance and did not require surgery or radiation therapy, were not likely to need antidepressants compared to men that were not diagnosed with prostate cancer. Meanwhile, men who underwent radiation therapy were between 33% and 49% more likely to be on antidepressants up to five years after their procedures.
If anything, this goes to show how much of a psychological toll these aggressive treatments can indeed be. This data will hopefully be used to reinforce mental health treatment for all men, especially those with a prostate cancer diagnosis.