The impact of cancer treatment on quality of life outcomes for patients with localized prostate cancer

Juza Chen, Nicola J. Mabjeesh, Alexander Greenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Purpose: We evaluated the impact of localized prostate cancer treatment on general, cancer specific and symptom domains of quality of life for up to 5 years after diagnosis. Materials and Methods: A total of 842 men from the Health Professionals Followup Study, diagnosed between 1993 and 1998, were included in cross-sectional analyses of quality of life associated with prostate cancer treatment. A subset of 146 men diagnosed after 1995 were followed prospectively. Quality of life was assessed with the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 Health Status Survey, Cancer Rehabilitation Evaluation System Short Form and University of California Los Angeles Prostate Cancer Index by mailed questionnaires. Primary treatment modality was taken from medical records and patient self-report. Results: Significant treatment differences were observed in all quality of life measures, with the largest occurring in sexual, urinary and bowel symptoms. Bowel function was significantly worse in patients who received external radiation and brachytherapy compared with prostatectomy (p<0.05). Although they had better or equivalent urinary and sexual function (p<0.05), patients treated with external radiation, hormones or watchful waiting had lower generic quality of life scores in multiple domains compared with those who underwent prostatectomy. Patients who had brachytherapy had similar generic quality of life outcomes compared with prostatectomy in all domains. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that important differences in quality of life go beyond known physical symptoms associated with various prostate cancer treatment options, many of which involve making a trade-off. It is important for patients with prostate cancer and health care providers to consider these differences while making treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1804-1810
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Brachytherapy
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Quality of life
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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