Quality-of-life Outcomes in Men Treated for Localized Prostate Cancer

Published In: JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, v. 273, Jan. 11, 1995, p. 129-135

by Mark Litwin, Ron D. Hays, Arlene Fink, Patricia A. Ganz, Barbara Leake, Gary E. Leach, Robert H. Brook

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Reports on a cross-sectional analysis of HRQOL outcome measures among men treated for localized prostate cancer with either radical prostatectomy, pelvic radiation, or observation alone. An agematched comparison group without prostate cancer was also examined. Instruments included the SF-36 to measure general HRQOL, two cancer-specific instruments, and a disease-targeted instrument assessing function and bother in sexual, urinary, and bowel organ systems. Although there was no difference in general HRQOL among the three treatment groups, the prostate-targeted measures showed significant differences in function and bother. Significant differences were also seen between cancer and non-cancer patients in sexual, urinary, and bowel function and bother but not in general HRQOL. This study concludes, perhaps for the first time in patients with prostate cancer, that general measures of HRQOL are not sufficient to assess differences in outcome. There is need to develop additional disease-targeted quality-of-life measures.

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