Prostate Cancer Study: The Prostate Cancer Study was funded by the National Institute on Aging, with Drs. Blank and Bellizzi as primary researchers. What we found is that these men are generally doing very well psychologically; in fact, in some ways they are doing better than non-cancer populations of similar age. However, we also found negative changes
and challenges, especially concerning the main side effects of prostate cancer treatment—urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. On the positive side, positive changes and benefits outweighed the negative for most of the men. We also found that age at diagnosis makes a large difference, with younger men more intensely affected in both positive and negative ways. Perhaps surprisingly, using coping strategies and attending support groups were by and large related to worse outcomes on psychological measures. It is likely that the need to continue to cope has its downside, but, like age, also has some positives (such as greater likelihood of making behavior changes that may result in better overall health, such as diet, exercise, and stress reduction).
Bellizzi, K.M. & Blank, T.O. (2007). Cancer-related identity and positive affect in survivors of prostate cancer. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 1, 44-48.
Blank, T.O. & Bellizzi, K.M. (2006). After prostate cancer: Predictors of well-being among long-term prostate cancer survivors. Cancer, 106, 2128-2135.