The risk of suicide is increased among men diagnosed with prostate cancer


A patient's risk of suicide is doubled within the first year following a prostate cancer diagnosis, according to a new meta-analysis.

In a meta-analysis of 8 observational studies that included 1,281,393 men with Prostate Cancer and 842,294 matched men who did not have Prostate Cancer, reserchers found an overall 2-fold increased risk of suicide among men diagnosed with PCa during the first year compared with PCa-free men. The risk was particularly elevated during the first 6 months after diagnosis.

Men who were older than 75 years at diagnosis had a 51% higher risk of risk of suicide than Prostate Cancer-free men, whereas patients younger than 65 years at diagnosis had a 37% increased risk.

In addition, the meta-analysis demonstrated that men who had hormonal therapy had a significant 80% increased risk of suicide compared with the PCa-free men, whereas those who underwent curative treatment had a non-significant 11% increased risk.

Urologists may need to learn psychological counseling techniques to screen patients at higher risk of suicide. The diagnosis of prostate cancer is usually not the only cause of suicide; therefore, relevant factors, including mental illnesses and socioeconomic factors, must be recognized by urologists.


Guo Z, Gan S, Li Y, et al. Incidence and risk factors of suicide after a prostate cancer diagnosis: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2018; published online ahead of print.