PURPOSE: Men are living longer with prostate cancer. In a two-country study, we investigated the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of prostate cancer survivors up to 18 years post-diagnosis.
METHODS: Postal questionnaires were administered in 2012 to 6559 prostate cancer (ICD10 C61) survivors 2-18 years post-diagnosis, identified through population-based cancer registries in Ireland. HRQoL was measured using QLQ-C30 and QLQ-PR25. HRQoL, functional and symptom scores were compared by primary treatment(s) using multiple linear regression.
RESULTS: Fifty-four percent responded (n = 3348). After controlling for socio-demographic and clinical factors, global HRQoL varied significantly by primary treatment (p < 0.001); compared to radical prostatectomy (RP), survivors who received androgen deprivation therapy alone (ADT; p < 0.001) or external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) without concurrent ADT (p = 0.001) had significantly lower global HRQoL. The global HRQoL of men who received brachytherapy (p = 0.157), EBRT with concurrent ADT (p = 0.940) or active surveillance/watchful waiting (p = 0.388) was not significantly different from men treated with RP. There were statistically and clinically significant differences in general (fatigue, pain, dyspnoea, appetite loss, constipation, diarrhoea, financial difficulties) and disease-specific symptoms (sexual, urinary, bowel, ADT) by primary treatment. Fatigue and insomnia scores were high for survivors in all treatment groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Prostate cancer survivors' long-term HRQoL varied with primary treatment.
IMPLICATIONS OF CANCER SURVIVORS: Population-based information regarding statistically and clinically significant treatment effects on long-term global HRQoL, symptom burden and functionality should be provided during treatment decision-making. Screening for symptoms and utilising interventions during long-term follow-up may improve survivors' HRQoL.