Prostate cancer-related anxiety in long-term survivors after radical prostatectomy.

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Knowledge of the psychological distress of long- and very long-term (>10 years) prostate cancer (PC) survivors is limited. This study intended to examine the parameters influencing anxiety related to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and PC in long-term survivors after radical prostatectomy.


We surveyed 4719 PC survivors from the German multicenter prospective database "Familial Prostate Cancer." We evaluated the association of PC-related anxiety (MAX-PC) with sociodemographic characteristics, family history of PC, global health status/quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30), depression and anxiety (PHQ-2; GAD-2), latest PSA level, time since radical prostatectomy, and current therapy.


The survey participants' mean age was 75.2 years (SD = 6.5). Median follow-up was 11.5 years, and 19.5% of participants had survived more than 15 years since the initial treatment. The final regression analysis found that younger age, lower global health status/quality of life, higher depression and anxiety scores, higher latest PSA level, and shorter time since radical prostatectomy predicted increased PSA-related anxiety and PC anxiety. Familial PC was predictive only of PSA anxiety (all p < 0.05). The final model explained 12% of the variance for PSA anxiety and 24% for PC anxiety.


PC-related anxiety remained relevant many years after prostatectomy and was influenced by younger age, psychological status, rising PSA level, and shorter time since initial treatment.


Survivors with these characteristics are at increased risk of PC-related anxieties, which should be considered by the treating physician during follow-up.

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