One in six men being treated for advanced prostate cancer experiences a reduced sense of smell and taste, a symptom that could cause increased anxiety among patients because it is also a side effect of COVID-19, according to Tulane researchers.
A study published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer says a reduced sense of smell and taste among some prostate cancer patients is largely associated with poor appetite and weight loss.
Although the data collection for the study predated the COVID-19 pandemic, the results pose important implications for cancer patients undergoing hormone therapy, chemotherapy and/or bone antiresorptive during the coronavirus crisis.
"We wanted to make sure the article mentioned the significance of advanced prostate cancer patients experiencing losses in taste/smell as a side effect of their cancer treatment during the pandemic," said Laura Perry, a Tulane doctoral student in psychology and one of the study's authors. "Since it is a commonly known symptom of COVID-19, the experience may be appraised by patients as especially stressful at this time."
Perry said most symptom assessments in cancer patients do not ask patients about their senses of taste or smell. "Our findings suggest these could be a valuable addition to routine assessments in prostate cancer," she ...