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Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2009;43(2):119-26. doi: 10.1080/00365590802519396.

Health-related quality of life 10 years after external beam radiotherapy or watchful waiting in patients with localized prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.



To evaluate long-term randomized comparisons of patient-reported outcome of symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in men with localized prostate cancer 10 years after external beam radiotherapy (RT) or watchful waiting (WW).


Three-year HRQoL and specific symptoms in surviving patients recruited between 1986 and 1996 were previously evaluated in a randomized trial; definitive RT versus WW. Two questionnaires were used: the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and the Prostate Cancer Symptom Scale (PCSS). The present study is a prolonged follow-up with the same cohorts.


Fifty-four of 72 eligible patients (75%) returned the questionnaires at the present follow-up. The median age was 77 years in the RT group and 78 years in the WW group. The median follow-up time from randomization was 10 years. No differences in HRQoL or bowel symptoms were measured between the RT and WW. Cognitive (RT) and physical function (WW) decreased between 4 years and 10years. Weak urinary stream differed between the RT and WW groups. Fatigue and nocturia were increased in the RT group, and erections decreased in the WW patients over time. No difference in erectile function was seen between the RT and WW groups (p=0.292).


The pattern of urinary and bowel symptoms and sexual function was rather similar, independent of RT or WW. Treatment with RT had minimal influence on HRQoL, in comparison with that of WW, at 10-year follow-up.

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