Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Increases Suicide Risk

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Receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer raises a man's risk of suicide or cardiovascular death, particularly in the first few months after learning the news.

Data from 340,000 prostate cancer patients indicated that 148 men committed suicide and 6,845 died of cardiovascular disease, yielding mortality rates of 0.5 and 21.8 per 1,000 person-years, respectively.

Suicide risk was highest during the first year post-diagnosis, especially in the first three months. The risk of cardiovascular death was also elevated in that first year, particularly in the first month and among those with metastatic disease.

The study by Fang Fang, MD, and colleagues, which was published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggest a need for counseling and support for the newly diagnosed.

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