Mental and Behavioral Health of Prostate Cancer Patients, Significant Others, and Couples

Heather H. Goltz, PhD, MSW, the Interim Assistant Chair of Criminal Justice and Social Work, and Professor at University of Houston presents a detailed presentation about the mental health of prostate cancer patients, families and significant others.

Key Takeaways:

  • US and Caribbean Black men have the highest prostate cancer incidence (new cases) globally, 73% higher among US non-Hispanic Black African American men.
  • Suicidal rates for prostate cancer patients are higher than the general population (~9.9% experience suicidal thoughts).

“Men become stoic about prostate cancer, almost dismissive. But the problem is, the anxiety, the depression, the fear can leak through those defense mechanisms that feed this sense of hopelessness and helplessness.”   Medically underserved and areas with low community resources also contribute to survivorship, according to Goltz.  “Your zip code in a lot of ways matters more than your genetic code in terms of prostate cancer disparities. We know medically underserved areas have worse overall survival rates and they’re even worse if you’re Black, or African American or Hispanic.” Black men are unlikely to seek mental health services due to factors such as masculinity, self-esteem, and stigma.

 – Heather H. Goltz, PhD, MSW, Interim Assistant Chair of Criminal Justice and Social Work and Professor, University of Houston.


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