Objectives: To measure health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after radical prostatectomy (RP) in Japanese men with localized prostate cancer.
Methods: A total of 154 patients who underwent RP were included in this 5-year longitudinal survey. The Short Form 36-Item Health Survey, the University of California, Los Angeles, Prostate Cancer Index and the International Prostate Symptom Score questionnaires were administered at diagnosis and nine times afterwards.
Results: Patients undergoing RP showed problems in some physical domains of general HRQOL, but these problems diminished over time. Mental health and social functions significantly improved during the follow-up period. The urinary function substantially declined at 3 months and continued to recover gradually but never returned to baseline. Most patients (95%) recovered to their baseline urinary bother score within 60 months. The overall mean total International Prostate Symptom Score progressively improved with time. On the other hand, at 60 months after RP, only 34% of subjects had fully returned to baseline sexual function. By 5 years postoperatively, 78% of the men had reached baseline sexual bother and the mean recovery time was 8.6 months. Adverse effects of RP on sexual function and bother were mitigated by bilateral nerve-sparing procedures up to 5 years after the operation.
Conclusions: Despite reported problems with sexuality and urinary continence, general HRQOL was mostly unaffected by RP after 6 months in our survey with functional outcomes remaining relatively stable in the majority of patients.