Improving the Utility of Quality-of-Life Data from Men with Prostate Cancer

Published In: Journal of Clinical Oncology, v. 27, no. 24, Aug. 20, 2009, p. 3877-3878

Posted on on August 20, 2009

by Mark Litwin

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Dostoevsky's central conceit in his 19th-century existentialist writings on human suffering is that man can ultimately accommodate to almost any tribulation. Contemporary psychosocial research in health-related quality-of-life outcomes in men with prostate cancer bears out this truth.1-3 This thesis notwithstanding, the medical literature is replete with studies documenting the poignant impact of quality-of-life impairments on men treated for early-stage prostate cancer. Radiation or surgery can lead to significant dysfunction or distress in the urinary, sexual, or bowel domains. Hence, the simultaneous consideration of both quality and quantity of life improves medical decision making for these men.

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