(HealthDay News) — For prostate cancer survivors after radical prostatectomy, fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) remains a burden, even years after diagnosis, according to a study published online Aug. 6 in Cancer.

Valentin H. Meissner, M.D., from the School of Medicine at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, and colleagues examined the prevalence and predictors of FCR in long-term prostate cancer survivors. A total of 2,417 prostate cancer survivors completed the Fear of Progression Questionnaire-Short Form on average seven years after radical prostatectomy (T1 in 2010) and nine years later (T2 in 2019).

The researchers found that 6.5 and 8.4 percent of patients reported clinical FCR at T1 and T2, respectively. Longitudinal predictors of FCR nine years later included lower level of education, years since radical prostatectomy, biochemical recurrence, no current adjuvant therapy, FCR (in 2010), and anxiety (odds ratios, 4.35, 1.10, 1.67, 2.38, 10.75, and 1.35, respectively) in a multivariable analysis controlling for concurrent associations.


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“Early monitoring for FCR and the identification of patients at risk are crucial for starting early psychological interventions,” the authors write. “Treating health care professionals should be aware of these factors in clinical practice to provide appropriate psychosocial care when needed because FCR is among the most endorsed unmet needs and concerns in cancer survivors leading to limitations in their quality of life and psychological well-being.”

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