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Cancer. 2000 Sep 15;89(6):1322-8.

Quality of life changes during conformal radiation therapy for prostate carcinoma.

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University Hospital Medical School of Vienna, Department of Radiotherapy and Radiobiology, Vienna, Austria.



The objective of this study was to describe prospectively quality of life (QOL) before and after radiotherapy for patients with prostate carcinoma.


Forty-three patients with T1-T3 prostate carcinoma who underwent conformal external beam radiation therapy were randomized either to the complete European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QOL questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) or the Medical Outcomes Study Group Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) at baseline, at 3 weeks and 6 weeks after initial treatment, and at 6 weeks and 5 months after the completion of radiotherapy. The measures were self-reported patient QOL, and values are given as the mean +/- standard error of the mean. Changes in QOL are described from baseline to the end of treatment in both questionnaire groups.


Emotional role functioning, as measured with the SF-36 questionnaire, significantly improved from 68.2 +/- 9.9 at baseline to 93.3 +/- 5.2 at the end of therapy (P = 0.02). The EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire revealed consistent values of emotional functioning during treatment (72.7 +/- 5.9 at baseline) but showed a significant improvement 6 weeks after therapy (89.0 +/- 4.4; P = 0.01). Role functioning deteriorated from 80.1 +/- 6.5 at baseline to 62.5 +/- 8.8 at the end of radiotherapy (P = 0.02). Symptoms of fatigue were shown to increase significantly from 26.9 +/- 6.0 at baseline to 37.7 +/- 7.6 at the end of therapy (P = 0.02). No significant changes in the other dimensions were observed in either questionnaire.


After radiotherapy for prostate carcinoma, patients experience a temporary deterioration of fatigue and role functioning, as measured with the EORTC QLQ-C-30. Despite physical deterioration, the authors observed an improvement in emotional functioning scores with both questionnaires. This may have been due to psychological adaptation and coping.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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