Below is a media release that we are sharing about some new research that has come out of a long term study, conducted by the research team here at Cancer Council NSW.


Prostate cancer diagnosis puts Australian men at much higher risk of suicide: new research


A new study by Cancer Council NSW found that men who had prostate cancer are at a 70% increased risk of suicide, compared to the general male population.


“In the ten years that our study looked at, over 51,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. 49 of them were then recorded as taking their own life,” said A/Prof David Smith, Senior Research Fellow at Cancer Council NSW.


“We also found that the risk of men whose cancer had spread was greatest – 2.7 times higher than for those with localised disease,” A/Prof Smith continued.


“Single, divorced, widowed or separated prostate cancer survivors were over four times more likely to take their own life, compared to married survivors.”


A/Prof Smith says that the psychosocial impact of a cancer diagnosis will only be affecting more and more men as the population grows and ages:


“Due to improved detection and diagnosis, the number of men surviving long after diagnosis has been steadily increasing. Our findings just reflect the tip of the iceberg in the spectrum of psychological stress that men with prostate cancer experience.


“While we need more research in this area, we know that vulnerable or lonely men and those with pre-existing depression or suicidal ideation who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should be offered additional support.”


Cancer Council NSW encourages all prostate cancer patients and survivors to use its support services.


“For example, 13 11 20 is a confidential service where people affected by cancer and their families and friends can speak to a specialist cancer professional about anything to do with cancer,” said Annie Miller, Director of Cancer Information and Support Services at Cancer Council NSW.


“A lot of the prostate cancer patients and survivors who call 13 11 20 want to talk about emotional or psychological issues related to their diagnosis.”


For people who prefer to speak with someone who has gone through a similar journey, Cancer Connect volunteers provide peer support to patients.


“We encourage anyone who wants to find out more to call 13 11 20 to see how Cancer Council NSW can best support them and their families,” Ms Miller concluded.

Lifeline provides crisis support for anyone thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis via their 24hour helpline: 13 11 14 or you can use our "Need Help Now Button"  to contact Lifeline directly.


If you're interested in reading the research paper itself, you can read it online or download it via PDF below:

Increased risk of suicide in New South Wales men with prostate cancer: Analysis of linked population...


If you have any ongoing questions about the above research study and the results, please do not hesitate to contact 13 11 20 or post a comment below.

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