Objectives: To examine quality of life (QOL) for 3 years after radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) or permanent prostate brachytherapy (PPB) and to determine differences between the two procedures.
Methods: In all 107 patients who underwent RRP and 91 who received PPB between October 2005 and July 2007 were included in this study. QOL surveys were performed using the international prostate symptom score (IPSS), the Medical Outcome Study 8-items short form health survey and the expanded prostate cancer index composite at baseline and 1, 3, 6, 12 and 36 months after treatment.
Results: At 3 years, all parameters for general QOL and almost all for disease-specific QOL were similar to those at 12 months. Urinary continence after RRP slightly improved from 12 months to 3 years, but it was still significantly worse than that after PPB. Scores for urinary irritation or obstruction and for bowel function and bother at 3 years were similar between the two groups. Sexual function and bother did not change between 12 months and 3 years in either group. Sexual function at 3 years after RRP was worse than that after PPB. Recovery from urinary incontinence and sexual function after RRP with nerve sparing were similar to those after PPB. Urinary incontinence at 3 years correlated with the treatment method and patients' age, whereas urinary irritation/obstruction and urinary bother correlated with the pre-treatment IPSS.
Conclusion: QOL assessment represents an important issue in prostate cancer management. Our findings are likely to be of aid in the development of a treatment plan for prostate cancer patients.