Health-related quality of life and treatment outcomes for men with prostate cancer treated by combined external-beam radiotherapy and hormone therapy
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Health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) is important when considering the treatment options for prostate cancer.
From 1992 to 1998, 57 patients were treated by radiotherapy plus hormone therapy (median age, 79 years; median prostate-specific antigen concentration, 15.0 ng/ml; median radiotherapy dosage, 60 Gy). General HR-QOL was measured by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Prostate Cancer QOL Questionnaire, and a newly developed disease-specific QOL survey was used to assess urinary and bowel functions. QOL was also measured in a control group of patients admitted for prostate biopsy.
The general HR-QOL scores in the radiation group ranged from 70.0 to 91.3, with sexual problems showing the lowest (i.e., worst) score (38.5). Compared with the control group, the scores in the radiation group were worse for physical function and sexual problems. For disease-specific QOL, the radiation group had worse urinary function than controls, but were more satisfied with their urinary function. There was no difference between the radiation group and controls in satisfaction with bowel function. When the control group was subdivided at into two groups: age 75 years or less, and age over 75 years, the QOL score in the radiation group was the same as that in the subgroup aged over 75 years. In subgroups of the radiation patients, according to survey period, there was no difference between the first and last surveys in longitudinal HR-QOL evaluations. The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates were 67.6% and 41.6%, respectively, and the 5- and 10-year cause-specific survival rates were 97.9% and 94.7%.
The combination of radiotherapy and hormone therapy has a good outcome and patients do not experience poor HR-QOL, except for sexual problems. Moreover, the disease-specific QOL is good, especially for urinary bother.
Key wordsProstate cancer Radiotherapy Hormone therapy QOL Survival
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