Quality of Life and Functional Outcomes in Men with Localized Prostate Cancer
Abstract: Quality-of-life and functional outcomes are important in the choice of treatment for men with localized prostate cancer. These issues were investigated in the present thesis.All living 400 men randomized to radical prostatectomy or watchful waiting from 1989 to 1999 in the Scandinavian Prostate Cancer Group Number 4 (SPCG-4) were included. An additional 281 men compromised an age-matched control group. Physical symptoms, symptom-induced stress, sense of well-being and self-assessed quality of life were evaluated by a study-specific questionnaire.Results showed that prostate cancer men, regardless if they were allocated to radical prostatectomy or watchful waiting were suffering of long term adverse effects, mainly erectile dysfunction, urinary leakage and voiding symptoms. In the prostatectomy group, erectile dysfunction and urinary leakage were often consequences of surgery; in the watchful waiting group the side-effects could be caused by tumor progression. The quality of life deteriorated over time. High self-assessed quality of life was reported by 35 % in the radical, 34 % in watchful-waiting, and 43 % in the control groups after a median follow-up time of 12.2 years. The SPCG-4 men significantly more often reported anxiety than did controls. Erectile dysfunction was associated with the most negative influence on quality of life in both SPCG-4 groups. Men in the prostatectomy group were more distressed by erectile dysfunction than watchful waiting. Androgen deprivation therapy had negative effects on all psychological parameters, including quality of life, for the watchful waiting but not for the prostatectomy group. Information about the prostate-cancer disease was significantly higher in the radical-prostatectomy group than in watchful waiting. Check-ups were associated with worry, especially for those on androgen deprivation therapy. Open radical prostatectomy led to an increased rate of inguinal hernia compared with robot-assisted technique.In conclusion, the data of this thesis emphasize that it takes more than a decade to understand the patterns of adverse effects and time dimension of their occurrence for each treatment. Consideration of quality of life has a high priority to aid the ageing man through the shifting scenarios of localized prostate cancer.
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