Prostate cancer treatment types can affect quality of life

Varying types of surgery for prostate cancer can negatively impact sexual function in patients.
By Amy Wallace   |   April 20, 2017 at 10:01 AM
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April 20 (UPI) -- A new study shows quality of life after prostate cancer treatment varies greatly depending on the type of treatment patients receive.

The study of 5,727 prostate cancer patients found sexual function declined with all types of treatments, however, the largest decline in sexual function was after surgery.

Patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer from March 2011 to January 2014 participated in the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite questionnaire before and up to 24 months after treatment.

Of the different types of surgery for prostate cancer, open surgery was linked with the steepest decline in sexual function compared to robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery. Patients who underwent robotic surgery reported a higher return of sexual function close to the same level of patients who had brachytherapy, or radioactive implants, and radiation 24 months after surgery.

Researchers also found that urinary incontinence declined the most for surgical patients with those having robotic surgery improving slightly more than those who had open surgery at 12 to 24 months after surgery.

At one month after treatment, bowel scores were the lowest for patients that had radiation therapy and urinary irritative symptoms were the lowest with brachytherapy.

"We hope our patient-reported outcomes and the comprehensive data collection in this cancer registry study will not only shed light on better patient counseling and care, but also better tracking of outcomes measurements in today's healthcare climate," Dr. Gary Chien, lead author of the study, said in a press release.

The study was published in BJU International.

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