• cancer;
  • oncology;
  • prostate;
  • body image;
  • optimism;
  • survivorship



Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the USA will survive. Of the many aspects of survivorship affected by prostate cancer, body image receives limited attention despite some indication that it may be important to men with the disease. The present study investigated how body image changes over time and the relations between changes in body image and quality of life (QOL) in men with prostate cancer.


In a longitudinal design, patients (N = 74) completed questionnaires before treatment (T1) and at 1 month (T2) and 2 years (T3) following treatment completion.


Growth curve modeling indicated that there was no significant change over time in group-level body image scores. However, hormone treatment was associated with a negative trajectory of change over 2 years. Also, analysis of individual difference scores indicated that ≥50% of patients demonstrated change of at least 0.5 standard deviation between time points. Hierarchical regression indicated that change in body image between T1 and T2 was significantly associated with change in QOL between T1 and T3, while controlling for demographic variables, treatment, treatment-related functioning, and general and treatment-specific positive expectations. In predicting change in body image between T1 and T2, treatment-specific positive expectation was the only significant predictor.


The present study demonstrates that body image is an important component of the prostate cancer experience. Findings suggest that body image has a meaningful association with QOL among prostate cancer survivors.Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.