Problematic symptoms of prostate biopsy can lead to increased anxiety in men, even when the biopsy results are negative for cancer, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Julia Wade, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and colleagues analyzed data from questionnaires completed by 1,144 men, among those enrolled in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment trial, to assess the psychological impact of prostate biopsy.
The researchers found that biopsy-related symptoms were minor or not a problem, and overall levels of anxiety and depression were low, for most men. Among 471 men who received a negative biopsy result, those who had biopsy-related symptoms at seven days, including pain, shivers, hematuria, hematochezia, and hemoejaculate, that were problematic had significantly greater anxiety than those who had symptoms that were non-problematic. At 35 days, although symptoms were not reduced, anxiety was lessened.
“Problematic post-biopsy symptoms can lead to increased anxiety, distinct from distress related to diagnosis of prostate cancer,” the authors write. “Men and doctors need to consider these additional potential harms of biopsy when deciding whether to initiate prostate-specific antigen testing.”