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Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 1998 Mar;1(3):128-133.

Distress due to unwanted side-effects of prostate cancer treatment is related to impaired well-being (quality of life).

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[1] Southern Division of Community Medicine, Tobacco Prevention Center, NOVUM, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden [2] Icelandic Cancer Society, Reykjavik, Iceland.


Based on traditional quality of life scales, it has been suggested that known side-effects of prostate cancer treatment do not influence the quality of life. The present authors have developed an alternative approach to quality of life assessment applying epidemiological methods. Using a self administered questionnaire, we investigated 431 prostate cancer patients and an age stratified sample of 435 randomly selected men. Patients reporting any level of distress due to waning sexual functions (66%) or urine or bowel symptoms (38%), reported a lower psychological well-being compared to patients not reporting these symptoms or patients not distressed by their symptoms. Our results stress that an intact sexual and urinary and bowel functions are important for the quality of life among elderly men with or without prostate cancer.

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