(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Ethnicity and sexual preference significantly affect quality of life for patients with prostate cancer, according to researchers of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. This conclusion is based on a review article entitled “The Effect of Ethnicity and Sexual Preference on Prostate-Cancer-related Quality of Life,” which was published early online in Nature Reviews Urology on April 10.

In this paper, the authors reviewed evidence of the impact of confounding factors, such as ethnicity and sexual preference, on quality of life parameters in patients with prostate cancer. Previous literature reviews demonstrated that these patients are able to maintain a relatively high quality of life, which is commonly defined as any improvement in physical, emotional, and social functioning within 1 year of treatment compared to pretreatment quality of life.

The authors wrote that “certain subpopulations of patients are susceptible to significant reductions in quality of life during the course of their treatment.” More importantly, they noted that there are data from published studies that suggest ethnic background and sexual preference both have significant effects on quality of life for patients with prostate cancer, especially because these social factors are “often poorly documented and inadequately addressed by medical practitioners.”

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Furthermore, according to the study’s co-author Edouard J. Trabulsi, MD, of the Department of Urology and Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, not all communities of men view the effects of prostate cancer treatments in the same way. Trabulsi added: This is the main reason “caregivers must acknowledge the patient’s perceptions and expectations during the treatment decision process…and tailor an approach based on a patient’s specific concerns about the implications of various treatments.”

The authors concluded: “Greater attention is needed to identify patients who are at increased risk of quality of life reduction as a result of these factors.”