Methods: A UK wide cross-sectional postal survey of prostate cancer survivors conducted 18-42 months post-diagnosis. Questions were included on presentation method and treatment. Functional outcome was determined using the EPIC-26 questionnaire. Reported outcomes were compared for symptomatic and PSA-detected survivors using ANOVA and multivariable log-linear regression.
Results: 35,823 men responded (response rate: 60.8%). Of these, 31.3% reported presenting via PSA test and 59.7% symptomatically. In multivariable analysis, symptomatic men reported more difficulty with urinary incontinence (Adjusted mean ratio (AMR): 0.96, 95% CI: 0.96-0.97), urinary irritation (AMR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.95-0.96), bowel function (AMR: 0.97, 95% CI: 0.97-0.98), sexual function (AMR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.88-0.92), and vitality/hormonal function (AMR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.96-0.96) than PSA-detected men. Differences were consistent across respondents of differing age, stage, Gleason score and treatment type.
Conclusion: Prostate cancer survivors presenting symptomatically report poorer functional outcomes than PSA-detected survivors. Differences were not explained by socio-demographic or clinical factors. Clinicians should be aware that men presenting with symptoms are more likely to report functional difficulties after prostate cancer treatment and may need additional aftercare if these difficulties persist. Method of presentation should be considered as a covariate in patient-reported outcome studies of prostate cancer.
Key words: prostate cancer, PSA, symptoms, presentation, patient-reported outcomes, quality of life