Global Quality of Life After Curative Treatment for Prostate Cancer: What Matters? A Study Among Members of the Norwegian Prostate Cancer Patient Association

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After curative treatment of prostate cancer, health-related quality of life is not only affected by sexual, urinary, and bowel adverse effects, but also and particularly in elderly patients by the mens' perception of changed psychosocial life. Further, for sexual life impairment there is a discrepancy between dysfunction and the mens' perception of related bother.


The purpose of this study was to identify factors that are associated with quality of life (QoL) in relapse-free patients after radical prostatectomy or high-dose radiotherapy with or without hormone treatment.

Patients and Methods:

A cross-sectional postal survey among members of the Norwegian Prostate Cancer Patient Association was used. We analyzed associations between QoL and general health, “typical” adverse effects (sexual, urinary, and bowel assessed using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Composite items) and psychosocial variables (work ability, family life, social life and/or leisure activities) in univariate and multivariate regression analyses. Statistical significance was defined as P < .01.


Among 612 responders (approximately 50% compliance; median age, 70 years), in univariate analyses QoL was significantly associated with functional aspects and the level of bother within the sexual, urinary, and bowel domains and with general health and psychosocial aspects of daily life. In the multivariate analysis only general health and social life and/or leisure activities remained associated with QoL, with work ability being a third factor in patients younger than 65 years old. Posttreatment worsening of partnership was reported by 12% of the patients.


Prostate cancer patients who are to undergo curative treatment should be informed about the risk of reduced function within the sexual, urinary, and bowel domains, but also about these dysfunctions' relation to bother and QoL, considered together with the patients' general health and their preferences as to their social life activities.

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