Treating prostate cancer may also improve LUTS, data show

May 31, 2012

Treatment of early-stage prostate cancer can also result in improved quality of life for a subgroup of men who suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms, according to results from a multicenter study presented at the AUA annual meeting in Atlanta.

Treatment of early-stage prostate cancer can also result in improved quality of life for a subgroup of men who suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms, according to results from a multicenter study presented at the AUA annual meeting in Atlanta.

"Possible benefits of prostate cancer treatment in alleviating lower urinary tract symptoms have been largely overlooked," said senior author Martin G. Sanda, MD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston. "We sought to identify pretreatment determinants of urinary function benefit versus worsening due to prostate cancer treatment."

The authors prospectively evaluated 1,812 men who underwent prostatectomy, radiation therapy, and brachytherapy across the United States and in Spain. They found use of urinary medications was reduced 2 years after radical prostatectomy surgery compared with pretreatment, while it was unchanged after radiation and became worse after brachytherapy.Overall bother from urinary treatment was unchanged from pretreatment in 86% of the men, improved in 7%, and worsened in 7%.

"The burden of obstructive lower urinary tract symptoms, which is present in one-third of early-stage prostate cancer patients, is underappreciated and deserving of greater emphasis in prostate cancer care decisions," Dr. Sanda said. "Contrary to conventional assumptions, the number of men whose health-related quality of life is benefited by early-stage prostate cancer treatment is similar to the number whose quality of life is adversely impacted. Men with lower urinary tract symptoms may be particularly likely to have a better quality of life benefit from radical prostatectomy."

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