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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Experiences of symptoms in men with hormone refractory prostate cancer and skeletal metastases

Olav Lindqvist, Birgit H Rasmussen, Anders Widmark
European Journal of Oncology Nursing: the Official Journal of European Oncology Nursing Society 2008, 12 (4): 283-90
18440862
Advanced prostate cancer with skeletal metastases entails significant symptoms from both treatment and the disease itself. Although the diagnosis is a common one, knowledge of the symptom experience late in the disease trajectory is limited. The aim of the present study was to describe the experience of physical symptoms in men with hormone refractory prostate cancer and skeletal metastases. Twenty men answered a quality of life questionnaire before participating in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative description. Findings show that the dominant symptoms were lack of energy and pain. Interestingly when talking about lacking energy the men described three different variants; lack of mental energy or initiative, lack of strength and stamina, and tiredness or sleepiness. Also, three different types of pain were described; pain from skeletal metastases, a diffuse moving pain, and pain not directly caused by the prostate cancer. Though a majority of the men scored being dissatisfied with their sex life; in the interviews, this was not described as a major distress. The findings also showed that the men experienced different symptoms despite the same diagnosis, skeletal metastases, stage, and androgen deprivation treatment, and that these symptoms are not necessarily experienced as problems or causing distress.

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