PiCTure study (Prostate Cancer Treatment, your experience) results disseminated to men with prostate cancer

Main findings from PiCTure study distributed to participants across Ireland

Researchers from the all-Ireland PiCTure study (Prostate Cancer Treatment, your experience) at the National Cancer Registry and Northern Ireland Cancer Registry have recently distributed a summary of the study findings to >3,500 prostate cancer survivors across Ireland.

More men are living longer following a prostate cancer diagnosis. However, several of the treatments for prostate cancer carry a risk of side-effects, such as impotence or incontinence. One of the aims of the PiCTure study was to investigate the effects, of a prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment on men’s quality-of-life. 

More than 6,500 men diagnosed with prostate cancer were identified from the National Cancer Registry Ireland and Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, and invited to complete a postal survey.  Surveys were returned by 3,348 men, 2,338 in the Republic of Ireland and 1,010 in Northern Ireland, making PiCTure the largest ever study of prostate cancer in Ireland.

The research team found that the quality-of-life of prostate cancer survivors in Ireland is similar to that of men with prostate cancer in other countries.  Almost one-quarter of men reported no problems related to having had prostate cancer. The remainder experienced one of more problems including erectile dysfunction/impotence, loss of interest in sex, urinary incontinence, bowel problems, hot flashes or sweats, fatigue and/or depression.  Men who experienced these adverse effects were more likely to have a lower quality-of-life than those who did not.  Lower quality-of-life was also more common in men who were not working or not married at the time of their diagnosis.   

The rich information so generously provided by men is being presented at conferences in Ireland and internationally and submitted for publication in scientific journals.  A report has been provided to the National Cancer Control Programme. The researchers hope that the results will help determine the need for additional prostate cancer services in Ireland; better understanding of the impact of prostate cancer on men’s lives is essential if services to support men are to be developed.  


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