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Specific character of psychic and social changes in women with breast cancer and in men with prostate cancer

Aygulya Akisheva, Nina Emilova, Polya Makaveeva, Silvia Tsvetkova, Kamelia Tsvetanova


Introduction: Breast cancer and prostate cancer are the most frequent diseases both on a global and national scale. According to American Cancer Society /ACS/ data breast cancer comprises 25% of all new cancer diagnoses in women on a global scale. In the USA prostate cancer takes the first place in men, while in Europe it ranks at third place.

Materials and Methods: The following methods are employed: questionnaire for orientation, docu­mental and statistical methods. Thirty-seven women with breast cancer filled in the questionnaire. Pain and distress survival depends on several subjective and objective factors (stage of cancer, time of diagnostics, and type of treatment) irrespective of sex. The specific character of psychic changes that occur both in female and male patients is connected with the performed life roles, lifestyle, in­fluence on sexuality, fear of relapses, fear of death, anxiety level, lack of adaptive management, prob­lems with self-appreciation.

Results: Twenty-three (62%) of the women have an anxiety level above the average one. Nineteen (51%) of the women share with their families. Fourteen (38%) of women confirm that they are inclined to hide the disease from their families. A strong correlation link (r=0.98, p=0.00) is being established between the tiredness and emotional functioning. Pain is in correlation relation with the social func­tioning (r=0.47, p=0.00). The pain syndrome is more clearly expressed with evident problems of fe­male patients` family or social life.

Conclusion: According to published data, in men with prostate cancer the depression symptoms strongly correlate with the pain rating. The low psychic and social support both within and out of the family, as well as the disease development result into anxiety and depression growth in these pa­tients. There is no significant statistical connection between the sex and emotional expression, but the studies among male patients show that they are more inclined to seek main support in their part­ners, while the female cancer patients also look for additional sources.


breast cancer; prostate cancer; psychological changes; social changes



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