Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Prostate research suggest it's time to heal the mind/body split

Research on worries among men who are told they do not have prostate cancer should alert health professionals to a serious need - namely the need to pay attention to the psychological effects of physical illnesses, says my That's Men for You column in today's Irish Times. This is no small matter. Physical ill-health is among the main contributors to suicide among older people. Again, the lesson is that physical ill-health affects body and mind and not the body alone. The column is part of the Irish Times' premium content so I can't reproduce it here.

But the research (there's more on it here at ScienceDaily) shows that men who are given the all-clear following an investigation for possible prostate cancer go on to worry about the possibilities of getting the disease. A similar effect has been reported in women investigated for breast cancer but found to be healthy. The column argues that the health services need to abandon their current mind/body split in treatment. A few counselling sessions or a health education programme could save a lot of worry in the future.

It could also save lives. Physical pain and ill health are among the important reasons for older people to commit suicide. In 2002, the suicide rate among people aged 65 to 74 in Ireland was 11 per 100,000 compared to 16.1 for those aged 15-24. The rate was nearly seven times higher for men than for women (19.7 compared to 3.1).....


vitamin D prostate said...

Keeping a health mind and body is really important. Thanks for your comments. I completely agree.

enlarged prostate treatment said...

I agree as many non-western medicine encompasses the same approach. The body cannot be healed if the mind is not healthy.