Tuesday February 18, 2020

Aggressive Treatment Of Prostate Cancer May Also Lead To Usage Of Anti-Depressants: Study

Sexual dysfunction is a common adverse effect of antidepressants

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Anti-depressants, prostate cancer
The antidepressant drug Prozac, also known as fluoxetine, is pictured. VOA

Men with prostate cancer who get surgery or radiation are also more likely start taking antidepressants than their counterparts who don’t get aggressive treatment, a recent study suggests.

Many men with early-stage prostate cancer may not need treatment right away, or ever, because these tumors often don’t grow fast enough to cause symptoms or prove fatal. In the absence of symptoms or tests that suggest tumors are growing quickly, doctors may advise men to put off immediate treatments like surgery or radiation and instead get regular screenings to reassess whether the cancer is dangerous enough to warrant
intervention.

For the current study, researchers examined data on men with early-stage prostate cancer, including 4,952 people who had surgery, 4,994 who got radiation and 2,136 who opted instead for surveillance, or “watchful waiting.” In the year before their cancer diagnosis, 7.7 percent of the men were prescribed antidepressants, and this climbed to 10.5 percent in the first year after diagnosis.

 

Cancer, Prostate cancer
British Prime Minister Theresa May, right, is shown the advanced radiotherapy system during a visit to announce new funding and research into prostate cancer, at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. VOA

 

Compared to a control group of men in the general population without a prostate cancer diagnosis, men with prostate cancer were 49 percent more likely to be taking antidepressants five years after surgery and 33 percent more likely to take antidepressants five years after radiation treatment, the study found.

But watchful waiting wasn’t linked to any increase in the odds of men taking antidepressants.

“Prostate cancer patients often fit the demographic profile (white, older age, and male) of someone at risk for depression,” said senior study author Dr. Robert Nam of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

“Once they receive treatment for prostate cancer, whether that is surgery or radiation, they may experience treatment-related side effects, such as erectile dysfunction, incontinence, and bowel dysfunction, which can significantly
worsen quality of life,” Nam said by email.

Cancer, Prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer Blood Test

Roughly half of men diagnosed with prostate cancer receive treatment known as androgen deprivation therapy, which suppresses production of the male sex hormone testosterone and contributes to mood disorders, Nam added.

Men in the study who received surveillance tended to be older and were more likely to have multiple chronic health problems than the patients who got surgery or radiation.

Limiting factors

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how different approaches to prostate cancer treatment might directly impact mental health. Another limitation is the potential for factors not measured in the study to have influenced both the treatment decisions men made and their mental health, researchers note in European Urology.

A separate study in the same journal, however, looked at trends in management of erectile function after prostate cancer surgery and offered fresh evidence that many men may be missing out on interventions that could improve their sexual health and quality of life.

Prostate cancer
FILE – A patient receives chemotherapy treatment. VOA

The study examined data on 2,364 patients who had prostate cancer surgery at one U.S. academic medical center between 2008 and 2015.

Researchers didn’t find any meaningful changes in the proportion of men who had erectile dysfunction up to two years after surgery, despite advances in surgical care and postoperative penile rehabilitation during the study period.
This study also wasn’t a controlled experiment, and it’s possible that results from a single medical center might not reflect outcomes for men who got prostate cancer treatment elsewhere.

The study also didn’t examine how any use of antidepressants might have played a role in men’s sexual health after prostate cancer surgery.

Also Read: Pain After Delivery Linked To Postpartum Depression

“Sexual dysfunction is a common adverse effect of antidepressants,” Nam said.

“Identifying the cause of the sexual dysfunction can be complicated as these symptoms are also associated with depression and can be improved once the patient’s depression is treated,” Nam added. “A healthy lifestyle, consisting of a well-balanced diet and exercise, is an important way to promote good sexual function, regardless of underlying medical
conditions.” (VOA)

Next Story

80% of Children Diagnosed With Cancer Do Not Survive Beyond Teenage: Study

Fighting a deadly disease like cancer at a tender age makes these young one real heroes; and such survivors teach this world the true meaning of challenging the adversary and emerging victorious

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Cancer
The World Health Organization's Global Childhood Cancer Initiative has set a global target to achieve 60 per cent survival rate among the children suffering from cancers by 2030. Pixabay

 It is estimated that nearly 300,000 children up to the age of 19 years are diagnosed with cancers worldwide; and only 20 per cent of them survive to live beyond their teenage.

The situation is equally grim among the low-income sections in India, and the medical fraternity is trying to help such children live long and lead a healthy life, said doctors at Hyderabad-based Continental Hospitals on the occasion of ‘International Childhood Cancer Day’ on Saturday.

The World Health Organization’s Global Childhood Cancer Initiative has set a global target to achieve 60 per cent survival rate among the children suffering from cancers by 2030.

The Continental Hospitals said that it is committed to play a constructive role in reaching the benchmark set by the WHO.

The hospital celebrated the young heroes who not just survived childhood cancers but are leading a healthy and successful lives. Their lives are filled with optimism and will surely encourage others with similar ailments to fight until they defeat the cancer in their body.

The doctors stressed the need to ensure that the hope is not lost in cases of childhood cancers. Such children need right advice from doctors and family around to keep the spirits high and help them fight the disease.

“Fighting a deadly disease like cancer at a tender age makes these young one real heroes; and such survivors teach this world the true meaning of challenging the adversary and emerging victorious. At Continental Hospitals, we have witnessed many young heroes who fought the battle and recovered fully to lead the future by setting an example for others,” said Vinodh Maddireddy, Consultant and Radiation Oncologist, Continental Hospitals.

Cancer
It is estimated that nearly 300,000 children up to the age of 19 years are diagnosed with cancers worldwide; and only 20 per cent of them survive to live beyond their teenage. Pixabay

Five years ago, a young boy Prakash (name changed) was diagnosed with pineoblastoma (advanced brain tumor/cancer), a dreaded tumor with a low rate of patient survival. The patient required entire brain and spinal cord radiation and six months of toxic chemotherapy with three very strong drugs. Each passing day and the challenges faced by this brave young man were difficult to see for anyone around him. The most sophisticated hybrid-radiotherapy at Continental Hospitals, helped the patient cope with side-effects; and today after five long years, the young man, now 24-year-old has completely defeated cancer in his body and is leading a happy and successful life.

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In another case, a 12-year-old kid Arshad Rahman was diagnosed with high grade glioma of thalamus (a form of brain tumor) and his condition was quite peculiar because the patient was not eligible for a biopsy. Instead, the team at Continental Hospitals took radiotherapy approach in addition to oral chemotherapy. Medical team left no stone unturned to ensure the spirits of the child are kept high, and this resulted in successful treatment of the dreaded disease. Today, the child leads a normal life and attends a normal school and is active like any other kid in his class.  (IANS)