Assessing the attitudes to prostate cancer treatment among European male patients

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OBJECTIVESTo understand the attitudes of patients with prostate cancer toward the disease in general and to the use of hormone therapy as treatment; to assess unmet needs in the management of prostate cancer; and to gauge patient receptivity to a potential 6-month formulation of a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist.PATIENTS AND METHODSFace-to-face interviews, lasting 50 min on average, were conducted during January and February 2007 with 200 European men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.RESULTSMost patients were very satisfied with their physician, particularly with specialists, with 94% of men being satisfied with their expertise and 67% fully trusting the recommended treatment. Therapeutic efficacy was considered the most crucial aspect of treatment, although maintaining their lifestyle during treatment was also considered important (83% of patients). In all, 67% of patients believed that consideration should be given to lifestyle needs when selecting treatment; however, over half (55%) had never raised lifestyle issues with their physicians. Most patients would prefer fewer injections, with 68% preferring 6-monthly injections over 3- or 1-monthly depots. Perceived advantages of 6-monthly injections include less discomfort/pain, more quality of life, fewer reminders of the disease and more ability to undertake activities without restriction.CONCLUSIONSPatients with prostate cancer are generally very satisfied with their physicians and the information they receive, yet find it difficult to communicate their lifestyle needs. Most patients would prefer 6-monthly LHRH agonist therapy due to the many advantages associated with fewer injections, including its efficacy in reducing testosterone levels. Improving patients' willingness to raise lifestyle issues with their physicians, providing more effective patient-physician communication and less frequent injections might assist in achieving both optimal control of testosterone and optimal management of prostate cancer.

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