Researchers compared outcomes for men who had undergone surgery or radiation in the first study to look at the effects of prostate cancer treatment on quality of life beyond five years after treatment.
Researchers surveyed 1,008 men with and without a history of prostate cancer about quality of life issues. The participants with prostate cancer had previously been surveyed an average of 2.5 years after their treatment. At this second contact, the men were on average more than six years post-treatment. Current responses were compared against the men without prostate cancer and to the previous survey responses.
“Over the long term, some men who are treated for prostate cancer may continue to have varying degrees of urinary, sexual or bowel dysfunction when compared to men without prostate cancer,” says lead author David Miller, M.D., a fellow in urology at the U-M Medical School.
For men who had surgery, quality of life tended to be stable following surgery, whereas the situation of the men who had received radiation was more volatile.
Regardless of the treatment they received, sexual function received the lower scores than other side effects among prostate cancer survivors.
Each of the three treatments for prostate cancer studied here are a viable choice for most men diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the research to date does not show one treatment is more effective than the others.