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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2000 Mar 1;46(4):833-8.

Quality of life in T1-3N0 prostate cancer patients treated with radiation therapy with minimum 10-year follow-up.

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Radiation Oncology Division, Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA 92134, USA.



To describe patient-reported quality of life using a validated survey in a cohort of patients who are long-term survivors of definitive radiotherapy for T1-3N0 prostate cancer.


Survivors of a previously reported cohort of prostate cancer patients treated with staging pelvic lymphadenectomy and definitive radiotherapy between November 1974 and August 1988 were queried using a questionnaire incorporating the RAND 36-Item Health Survey and the University of California, Los Angeles Prostate Cancer Index. Responses were reviewed and analyzed. Of the 146 N0 patients, 88 have survived for 10 years postdiagnosis. Fifty-six (64%) of these patients were still alive with valid addresses and were mailed copies of the questionnaires, of which 46 (82%) responded. Median potential follow-up from date of diagnosis was 13.9 years, with a median age of responders of 80 years.


The mean sexual function score was 15.4, with a bother score of 42. The mean urinary function score was 65, with a bother score of 61. The mean bowel function score was 72.6, with a bother score of 64.8. The amount of patient bother reported in the sexual category is similar to that previously reported for cohorts of prostate cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy or observation. This is despite the fact that sexual function was similar to that previously reported for patients postprostatectomy. Patient-reported function and bother scores in urinary and bowel categories were somewhat more severe than a previously reported radiotherapy cohort with shorter follow-up.


With long follow-up, most patients who underwent radiotherapy for prostate cancer in the era described exhibit somewhat worse bladder, bowel, and erectile function than recently published controls without prostate cancer. In this cohort of older men with long follow-up, erectile function is similar to reported prostatectomy series. However, patient bother related to erectile function is similar to that of controls in earlier published radiotherapy series. Worse urinary and bowel function may be due to progressive symptoms with aging and longer follow-up, or to the radiotherapy techniques performed during the era in question.

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