Abstract Background: We surveyed patients with prostate cancer treated with androgen deprivation therapy to examine the influence of hot flashes on quality of life (QOL).
Methods: Fifty-five outpatients with prostate cancer (M0, 39; M1, 16) treated with androgen deprivation therapy (castration, 15; castration and antiandrogen, 40) were enrolled in this study. Mean duration of androgen deprivation therapy was 21 months (2–91 months). The patients were still being treated with androgen deprivation therapy at the time of the survey. The functional assessment of cancer therapy (FACT) was used as a QOL questionnaire for outpatients with prostate cancer treated with androgen deprivation therapy. Hot flash assessments were used to document the number and severity (mild, moderate, and severe) of daily hot flashes. The patients prescribed fluvoxamine maleate were reassessed for hot flashes 2 weeks after the prescription.
Results: Thirty-two of the 55 patients (58.2%) suffered from hot flashes. Hot flashes deteriorated the physical well-being subscale of QOL in patients with prostate cancer treated with androgen deprivation therapy (P = 0.043). There was a significant relationship between the desire to be treated for hot flashes and the hot flash assessments (P = 0.038). Fluvoxamine maleate was significantly effective in reducing hot flashes (P = 0.001).
Conclusions: Hot flashes had adverse effects on the patients’ physical status and deteriorated the patients’ QOL. New treatment options such as fluvoxamine maleate might help simplify the often difficult management of hot flashes in patients with prostate cancer treated with androgen deprivation therapy.