According to a recent article published in Reuters (Feb. 2, 2010), being diagnosed with prostate cancer roughly doubles the risk of suicide or death from a heart attack. A team of researchers from Harvard and Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston looked at data from 340,000 prostate cancer patients between 1979 and 2004. While this particular study found that the elevated suicide risk of patients in this database has decreased since PSA screening became standard practice in 1993, there is still an increased risk of death from heart attacks and strokes. However, a study in Sweden last month by the same team, did find an elevated suicide risk associated with PSA testing.
The stress of prostate cancer diagnosis alone has its own risks. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with prostate cancer, please be aware that many options are available to you. Most importantly, you need to discuss your situation with family, loved ones and physicians to help get through this difficult time. Do not try to go through it alone.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Chicago offers a support group the first Wednesday of every month to those who have prostate cancer. The support group meetings are from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center, 815 Pasquinelli Drive, Westmont, Illinois 60559.