Mayo Prostate Cancer Research to Examine Quality-of-Life Issues; "Roller-Coaster Ride" of Emotions Men Experience Will Be One Area of Study

By Black, Cherie | The Florida Times Union, May 6, 2005 | Go to article overview

Mayo Prostate Cancer Research to Examine Quality-of-Life Issues; "Roller-Coaster Ride" of Emotions Men Experience Will Be One Area of Study


Black, Cherie, The Florida Times Union


Byline: CHERIE BLACK

When Bobby Hazouri was diagnosed with prostate cancer 11 years ago, he immediately had surgery and radiation treatments. Recently, his physicians believed his cancer may be coming back.

Although the 68 year-old Jacksonville native described his initial diagnosis as "a drastic thing," he said he learned back then not to let cancer weigh on his mind and isn't going to let it hinder him now.

Hazouri's laid-back approach to his illness and the way other men cope under the same circumstances, is the focus of a new study at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville into the psychological stress and quality of life issues in prostate cancer patients.

The study was paid for with a $225,000 research grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The champion bicyclist also is a cancer survivor.

Steven Ames, a clinical psychologist at Mayo who is heading up the study, said he noticed men becoming anxious around the time of their blood tests, which can help diagnose the illness. He said men experience a "roller-coaster ride" of emotions while waiting to find out if they have cancer. And while there are many options addressing the physical aspects of prostate cancer, men have no psychological resources, he said.

"Very little has been done to understand the emotional need of men with prostate cancer. Many of the men [in the study] were successful in treating their cancer but had no emotional outlet," Ames said.

A large amount of research has been about the emotional and psychological aspects of breast cancer -- what Ames considers prostate cancer's "sister disease" in terms of success rate and treatment -- but the same hasn't been done for men and prostate cancer, he said. …

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