Science News
from research organizations

Coping with active surveillance anxiety in prostate cancer

Mindful meditation helps men deal with uncertainty surrounding their cancer

Date:
May 26, 2016
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Men with prostate cancer who are under medical surveillance reported significantly greater resilience and less anxiety after receiving an intervention of mindfulness meditation, a study found. The anxiety and uncertainty that men who choose active surveillance experience when diagnosed with prostate cancer causes one in four to receive definitive therapies within one to three years, even when there is no sign of tumor progression.
Share:
FULL STORY

Men with prostate cancer who are under close medical surveillance reported significantly greater resilience and less anxiety over time after receiving an intervention of mindfulness meditation, according to a recently published pilot study from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The anxiety and uncertainty that men who choose active surveillance experience when diagnosed with prostate cancer causes one in four to receive definitive therapies within one to three years, even when there is no sign of tumor progression.

Health psychologist David Victorson, the principal investigator of the study and an associate professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, researches the emotional stress of active surveillance and how mindfulness training helps alleviate the anxiety.

Mindfulness meditation is a well-known contemplative awareness practice dating back some 2,500 years. It is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience and compassion.

"It's very understandable that some men will feel concerned with the knowledge that they indeed have prostate cancer but are asked to NOT do anything to remove it," Victorson said. "For many men this can create a great deal of inner turmoil. This turmoil can build up over time and eventually lead to men seeking surgical intervention when it may not ultimately be necessary."

Victorson and his Northwestern team now are partnering with other academic medical institutions to conduct a five-year multi-site controlled trial where men and their spouses will be randomized to eight weeks of intensive mindfulness meditation training or an eight-week control group.

"I believe we have an opportunity to investigate and equip men with additional tools above and beyond surgical intervention that can help them manage cancer-related uncertainty intolerance," Victorson said.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Northwestern University. Original written by Marla Paul. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David Victorson, Vered Hankin, James Burns, Rebecca Weiland, Carly Maletich, Nathaniel Sufrin, Stephanie Schuette, Bruriah Gutierrez, Charles Brendler. Feasibility, acceptability and preliminary psychological benefits of mindfulness meditation training in a sample of men diagnosed with prostate cancer on active surveillance: results from a randomized controlled pilot trial. Psycho-Oncology, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/pon.4135

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Coping with active surveillance anxiety in prostate cancer: Mindful meditation helps men deal with uncertainty surrounding their cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160526185426.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2016, May 26). Coping with active surveillance anxiety in prostate cancer: Mindful meditation helps men deal with uncertainty surrounding their cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160526185426.htm
Northwestern University. "Coping with active surveillance anxiety in prostate cancer: Mindful meditation helps men deal with uncertainty surrounding their cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160526185426.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

RELATED STORIES