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J Clin Oncol. 2012 Aug 1;30(22):2768-75. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2011.41.2767. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Long-term disease-specific functioning among prostate cancer survivors and noncancer controls in the prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer screening trial.

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  • 1Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3300 Whitehaven St, NW, Suite 4100, Washington, DC 20007, USA.



Within the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO), we assessed the long-term disease-specific functioning among prostate cancer (PCa) survivors versus noncancer controls, the impact of trial arm (screening/usual care) on functioning, and the effect of treatment modality on functioning.


PCa survivors (n = 529), 5 to 10 years postdiagnosis, were frequency-matched to noncancer controls (n = 514) for race, screening center, year of enrollment, and trial arm. Participants completed a telephone interview regarding PCa-specific symptomatology. Weights accounted for patient selection from the five PLCO screening centers. Propensity-score methods were used to balance groups of interest with respect to demographic and medical characteristics.


Weighted linear regression analyses revealed poorer sexual and urinary function among PCa survivors compared with noncancer controls (P < .001). Trial arm was not significantly related to any outcome (P > .31). Compared with radical prostatectomy patients (n = 201), radiation-therapy patients (n = 110) reported better sexual (P < .05) and urinary (P < .001) functioning but poorer bowel outcomes (P < .05). Survivors who received treatment combinations including androgen deprivation (n = 207) reported significantly poorer hormone-related symptoms compared with radical prostatectomy patients (P < .05). CONCLUSION This study demonstrated the persistence of clinically significant, long-term PCa treatment-related sexual and urinary adverse effects up to 10 years postdiagnosis. To our knowledge, this was the first comparison of prostate-related dysfunction among screened survivors versus screened noncancer controls and indicated that these long-term problems were attributable to PCa treatment and not to aging or comorbidities. Finally, differences in long-term adverse effects between treatment modalities are particularly relevant for patients and clinicians when making treatment decisions.

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