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M. D. Anderson study finds pre-surgical stress management improves mood, quality of life
Date:4/6/2009

HOUSTON - Brief stress management sessions prior to and immediately after surgery may have both short- and long-term benefit for men undergoing a radical prostatectomy for early-stage prostate cancer, according to research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The study, in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, is the first to examine the benefits of psychosocial intervention for prostate cancer patients prior to surgery. It found that men who participated in the sessions experienced less short-term mood disturbance and better long-term quality of life, compared to patients who had the procedure but did not have any behavioral intervention.

Most psychosocial interventions in cancer of any type have been studied after patients have completed surgery, explained Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., the study's senior author and professor in M. D. Anderson's Departments of Behavioral Science and General Oncology, and director of the Integrative Medicine Program.

"We know that for men with early-stage prostate cancer, the time when they are making treatment decisions is very stressful," said Cohen. "A radical prostatectomy is not without possible, very personal, consequences, including urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Patients may also be worried about the uncertainty that the surgery will cure their cancer.

"From other areas of research, we know that going into a surgical setting overly stressed may increase a patient's recovery time. With this study, we wanted to intervene in the pre- and post-surgical setting and try to help relieve stress and minimize mood disturbance, such as depression, anxiety and distress, both in the short- and long-term."

For the randomized study, 159 early stage prostate cancer, radical prostatectomy patients were assigned to receive either: two 60-90 minute sessions of pre-surgical stress management intervention and brief booster sessions the morning
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Contact: Lindsay Anderson
lindsay.anderson@gabbe.com
212-220-4444
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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