Survey Shows Less Than Half of Men Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer Are Referred to an Oncologist
Washington, DC – A new prostate cancer survey revealed that only 41 percent of men with prostate cancer were referred to an oncologist at some point during their prostate cancer journey. The survey, released by ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, is the organization’s first patient education survey, with the goal of better understanding the experiences of those affected by prostate cancer and learning about their educational needs.
“It’s critical to round out your team of health care professionals with an oncologist to get a full understanding of all available prostate cancer treatments to give yourself the best chance to beat the disease,” Jamie Bearse, ZERO’s CEO, said. “Father’s Day is a great opportunity for families to have an open dialogue about the risks of prostate cancer and the options for treatment when a loved one is diagnosed.”
ZERO’s survey showed that men need and want to be more informed about prostate cancer. For example, results showed that 54 percent of men made treatment decisions to avoid certain side effects. Approaching a prostate cancer diagnosis with a multidisciplinary medical team allows for men and families to consider all treatment options and make the most informed decision.
The survey also examined collective needs at the time of diagnosis, including information on prostate cancer, treatment options, side effects, and resources for emotional support. Later in the prostate cancer journey, patients and caregivers were looking for information on survivorship, clinical trials, other treatment options, and how to engage with the prostate cancer community. Online, printed materials, videos, blogs, and webinars were identified as the best outlets for prostate cancer patients to receive information. ZERO was identified as a preferred source for prostate cancer information.
More than 1,400 prostate cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers responded to the survey, providing ZERO with valuable insight into what men and families need throughout their prostate cancer journeys. Fifty-nine percent of respondents indicated they had at some point been diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 percent indicated they were a caregiver for someone diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 17 percent identified that they had a tie to the prostate cancer community but did not answer prostate cancer experience questions.
The survey was conducted from November 20, 2013 through January 21, 2014 and was open to the public. Respondents were recruited using personal outreach to ZERO’s constituents, our social media networks and partner organizations. The survey findings are descriptive, and will be used to enhance ZERO’s educational materials and programs and to guide development of new materials.
The full survey report is available here, along with ZERO’s Top 10 Tips for talking to your father or son about prostate cancer this Father’s Day: Fact Sheets & Literature.
About ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer
ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer and help all who are impacted. ZERO advances research, provides support, and creates solutions to achieve health equity to meet the most critical needs of our community. From early detection to survivorship, ZERO is the premier resource for prostate cancer patients and their families to access comprehensive support, make meaningful connections, and take action to save lives. Our dedicated national and chapter staff is joined with a growing team of passionate volunteer champions to increase advocacy, awareness, and community engagement to ZERO out prostate cancer. ZERO is recognized with four out of four stars by Charity Navigator and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. ZERO spends more on programs than any other prostate cancer charity, dedicating 85 cents of every dollar to support, education, and research.