Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 172–179 | Cite as

Influence of radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer on work status and working life 3 years after surgery

  • Sigrun DahlEmail author
  • Jon Håvard Loge
  • Viktor Berge
  • Alv Andreas Dahl
  • Milada Cvancarova
  • Sophie Dorothea Fosså



The purpose of this study is to study the influence of radical prostatectomy (RP) for prostate cancer on work status and working life in men 3 years after surgery.


In a prospective, questionnaire-based study on adverse effects after RP, 330 prostate cancer (PCa) patients who had been active in the workforce before RP described their work status 3 years after having surgery. We dichotomized their postoperative work status into “unchanged or increased” versus “reduced.” The participants also reported whether their working life was influenced by the PCa trajectory to no, some, or a great extent. Univariate and multiple logistic regression models were established with sociodemographic and clinical characteristics as independent variables and “work status” or “influence of PCa trajectory on working life” as dependent variables.


Twenty-five percent of the participants had retired. Of the remaining participants, approximately 20 % had a reduced work status, which in the multivariate analyses was significantly associated with increasing age. One third of the men still active in the workforce considered the PCa to negatively influence their working life. This was independently associated with bother related to urinary leakage, fatigue, and having undergone additional oncological therapy (pelvic radiotherapy and/or hormone treatment).


Though RP does not affect work status in most men, approximately one third of them experience problems in their working life due to adverse effects related to RP and/or additional post-RP anti-cancer therapy.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Most PCa survivors can expect to remain in the workforce for at least 3 years after RP, but for some, persistent adverse effects after RP and /or additional anti-cancer treatment negatively affect their working life. Pre-RP counseling of men within the workforce should cover possible post-RP changes concerning work status and working life.


Prostate cancer Radical prostatectomy Work participation Adverse effects 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The Norwegian Cancer Society funded the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sigrun Dahl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jon Håvard Loge
    • 1
  • Viktor Berge
    • 1
  • Alv Andreas Dahl
    • 1
  • Milada Cvancarova
    • 1
  • Sophie Dorothea Fosså
    • 1
  1. 1.The Norwegian Radium HospitalOslo University HospitalOsloNorway

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