Background:Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men in the Western world. Growing evidence suggests that aspects of diet and physical activity are associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer progression and mortality.
Aim:To explore the acceptability and feasibility of nutritional and physical activity interventions amongst men with prostate cancer undergoing radical treatment.
Methods:Interviews were conducted with 17 men with prostate cancer, an average of 6 months after radical prostatectomy (n=13) or radiotherapy (n=4), 7 partners and 10 health care professionals from one UK hospital. Interviews explored previous experiences of nutritional and physical activity interventions; lifestyle factors men would or would not be happy to change; views on the expected gain from any such interventions; and views on the costs, barriers and facilitators to making changes. We undertook thematic analysis, using a framework approach, to identify key issues.
Results:Although the men’s responses to having prostate cancer varied, many highlighted the enormity of their diagnosis, and a willingness to make changes believed to improve cancer outcomes. Men highlighted incontinence, a common adverse effect of prostatectomy, as a barrier to undertaking physical activity, especially as part of a group; preferring individual physical activity interventions. In contrast, health care professionals did not identify incontinence as a barrier, and thought men would prefer group physical activity interventions. The perceived cost of changing diet was viewed as a prohibiting factor for some.
Conclusions:A prostate cancer diagnosis is a potential teachable moment during which men express a willingness to make changes that may improve outcomes. Clinicians are in a strong position to make evidence based recommendations that men will respect. The potential barriers to implementing dietary or physical activity interventions include the adverse effects of primary treatments, the intervention format and the perceived financial burdens.