I guess it’s part of the male provider-protector thing: A recent survey found that men with advanced prostate cancer worry more about burdening their family and friends than about dying. That’s only one surprising fact from a fascinating and sometimes puzzling survey called The Advanced Prostate Cancer Patient and Caregiver Burden of Illness Study.
According to the data, 63% of men with advanced prostate cancer are especially concerned with their ability to maintain their current quality of life and continue doing the things they enjoy doing. 62% are concerned with the uncertainty of the future and 59% worry most about becoming a burden to their family and friends. However, only 43% say they’re “concerned” or “very concerned” about dying.
The study, which also looked at how the patients’ caregivers are doing, found a similar altruistic theme. Ninety-three percent of caregivers said that caring for a loved one with prostate cancer brought up “troublesome feelings” such as fear, sadness or stress. Eighty-five percent experience anxiety or stress about the helping the patient cope with the physical and emotional effects of the disease, 75% said there were days when they felt overwhelmed. However, only 58% were concerned about their own physical or emotional health.
There’s an interesting insight into the male psyche here. Over 40% of patients in the survey felt that people don’t understand what they’re going through in trying to manage and treat their prostate cancer. They wish people better understood the stress they’re under along with the inconvenience the disease causes and the side-effects of treatment. Yet despite feeling isolated, alone, and misunderstood, 45% of patients keep silent about their cancer and treatments.
You can read the rest of the study here: