According to a study presented at the American Urological Association’s (AUA) annual meeting in May, gay men treated for prostate cancer have a lower quality-of-life after treatment than the population of prostate cancer patients as a whole. The study, which is the first to measure the impact of prostate cancer on gay men, relied on previously published data from a general population of men treated for the disease as a point of comparison.
Through an Internet-based survey, 92 gay men from the United States and Canada answered questions relating to urinary, bowel, and hormone symptoms. Compared to their heterosexual counterparts, they reported worse physical and mental health functioning, poorer sexual and ejaculatory function, and a greater fear that their cancer would return.
“This is one of the early studies demonstrating that quality of life is more significantly impacted by prostate cancer in the gay population,” said Dr. Tomas Griebling, the AUA spokesman who moderated the press briefing.
Literature on this topic is limited; additional research may help determine why gay men experience the effects of prostate cancer treatment more acutely than straight men. Of note, these findings are considered preliminary because they have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Posted May 25, 2011