Prostate cancer survivors adopt healthier lifestyles
Survivors of prostate cancer often make positive lifestyle changes after the diagnosis, a new study suggests. In turn, this may lead to improvements in general quality of life.
Drawing from the National Prostate Cancer Register of Sweden, the researchers sent out a questionnaire to 1,288 men who had been diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer in 2008 at age ≤70 years. Changes in lifestyle were assessed through the question “Has your prostate cancer diagnosis influenced your lifestyle in any way, and if so, in what areas?”
Nearly a quarter of the participants said that they had made a positive lifestyle change, with most adopting a healthier diet (14 percent) or exercising more (15 percent). Thirty-three participants (2.6 percent) developed a greater interest in religion and philosophy, while 26 (2.0 percent) became more engaged in social activities and relationships.
On the other hand, 12 percent of the participants reported undergoing negative lifestyle changes, such as having a less healthy diet (0.2 percent), exercising less (3.6 percent), and becoming less interested in social activities and relationships (9.2 percent).
Lifestyle changes in turn correlated with health-related quality of life (HRQoL). For instance, poor HRQoL related to urinary incontinence, obstructive symptoms, or sexual function after treatment were much more likely to develop in patients who had less interest in relationships and social activities.
Similarly, impaired HRQoL in two or more domains related to functional outcomes after intervention was more likely in those who exercised less.