New research on prostate cancer, body image, and exercise

This week, our blog features a guest post by Caterina Gentili, a PhD student at the University of West England, who is researching how hormonal treatment for prostate cancer affects how men feel about their bodies.

Caterina does not receive funding from the PCRC. We decided to feature her research on the PCRC website because we felt it was an important topic, with the potential to improve quality of life for men with prostate cancer. We also looked at an outline of the study and confirmed she had ethics approval before deciding to help promote her work.

How can hormone therapy affect the body?

Hormonal treatment is one of the most common treatments for prostate cancer. Side effects can include changes to the body which can be upsetting, such as breast enlargement, weight gain, and penile shrinkage.

Even though these side effects of hormonal therapy are quite common, men often don’t have the opportunity to talk about how they are feeling, and very little support is offered around to them.

What is the research and why is it important?

Caterina Gentili is a PhD candidate from the Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, Bristol. Her mission is to help men diagnosed with prostate cancer and on hormonal treatment to maintain a positive relationship with their body.

Caterina’s project aims to find effective ways to provide information and support for patients. In particular, she hopes to help them establish a positive relationship with their body during their treatment and to reduce the stigma around seeking help when things feel difficult.

How can I help this project?

Caterina is conducting an online survey, exploring the psychological challenges that prostate cancer patients on hormonal treatment might be silently facing everyday. The survey takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Caterina is also looking for participants who have never been on hormononal treatment, and who have never received a diagnosis of prostate cancer. As a thank you for participating, you will have the chance to win a £70 online shopping voucher. If you would like to participate, please follow this link:

https://uwe.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0JslW06Gn73ZaGV

If I participate, what can I expect? What about my privacy?

If you decide to participate, you will be asked to answer some questions around topics such as how you feel about your body, and your exercise habits. The survey takes place entirely online, so you can participate from the comfort of your own home. It will take just a single session of 20-30 minutes. Also, if you decide that you no longer want to participate in the survey, you will be able to stop at any time without having to give a reason. Your identity will be anonymous at all times.

Will I hear back from the researcher once the study is finished?

Yes! Caterina will share the results with you once the study is finished.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can get in touch with the lead researcher directly:
Caterina Gentili, PhD candidate
email: caterina2.gentili@live.uwe.ac.uk
phone: +44 (0)1173282654
Centre for Appearance Research, 3B061 Frenchay Campus, University of the West of England, BS16 1QY, Bristol (UK)

This research project is sponsored by Above & Beyond, Bristol (UK).

If you are a researcher and would like to share news about your prostate cancer study, please email a short outline of your work and proof of ethics approval to nelster@pcr.org.uk. 

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