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Keywords:

  • oncology;
  • cancer;
  • prostate;
  • depression;
  • stress

Although depression occurs in prostate cancer patients at a higher incidence than in age-matched non-cancer peers, little is known about the relative incidence of subtypes of depression among these patients. To examine this issue, 507 prostate cancer patients completed a survey questionnaire of background factors, depression symptoms, and common prostate cancer-related stressors. Five common subtypes of depression were defined from the wider literature, and patients' depressive symptomatology was used to determine their scores on each of the five depression subtypes. Nearly half of the patients had scores which could be classified as clinically significant for at least one of the five depression subtypes, with some patients showing clinically significant scores for multiple depression subtypes. Different depression subtypes were predicted by different prostate-cancer-related stressors. Because each of the five depressive subtypes examined here has different symptomatologies and treatment recommendations, these data suggest that treatment goals for prostate cancer patients might vary according to the type of depression a patient presents.