Quality of life, sexual function and decisional regret at 1 year after surgical treatment for localized prostate cancer

Authors


B. Joyce Davison, Department of Urological Sciences, Room 6169, 2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada. e-mail: joyce.davison@vch.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine the effect of changes in quality of life (QoL) and levels of sexual function on decisional regret after surgical treatment of localized prostate cancer.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Patients who decided to have a radical prostatectomy (RP) were assessed for health-related QoL using the general European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer C30 instrument and disease-specific prostate cancer module, and sexual function using the abbreviated International Index of Erectile Function-5 before and 1 year after RP. Decision control was measured before RP, and decisional regret 1 year afterward, using measures mailed to participants 1 year after treatment.

RESULTS

Of 130 respondents (mean age 62 years), 4% expressed regret over their decision to have surgery. Physical and social functioning, and finances, were compromised, while emotional functioning and treatment-related symptoms improved by 1 year. Higher levels of decisional regret were correlated with decreases in role and social functioning, increased pain and financial difficulty (all P < 0.01). Sexual function was decreased (P < 0.001) after treatment. Men reported feeling less masculine, having less sexual enjoyment, difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection, and discomfort when being sexually intimate after surgery. Mean scores of decisional regret were similar among patients who reported assuming either active (84%) or collaborative (11%) roles in treatment decision-making. Men who assumed a passive role reported the most variability and highest scores on decision regret.

CONCLUSIONS

Few men regretted having RP at 1 year after treatment, even though some QoL functions and domains were significantly affected. Ongoing assessment of the effect of surgical treatment on sexual function, sexuality and masculinity certainly deserves further exploration with this group of cancer survivors.

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