ABSTRACT Objectives: In 1997, a study was launched to investigate the treatment of early prostate cancer. Using a patient preference design, health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) and disease specific HRQOL was assessed prospectively to compare men undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP), hypo-fractionated conformal radiotherapy (CRT) or brachytherapy (BT). Methods: Patients with localised prostate cancer were counselled by a urological surgeon, clinical oncologist and specialist uro-oncology nurse. Patients received treatment according to individual preference. 430 men chose and received RP (n = 217), CRT (n = 161) and BT (n = 52). 354 (82%) completed pre-treatment RAND 36-Item Short-Form Health survey version-2 (SF36v2) and University of California, Los Angeles Prostate cancer index (UCLA-PCI) questionnaires. HRQOL score changes from baseline to 24 months were compared using Kruskall-Wallis test. Results: Pre-treatment, the CRT cohort scored lower for physical function (p = 0.0029) and general health perception (p = 0.0021). The BT cohort reported better baseline scores for urinary function (p = 0.0291), urinary bother (p = 0.0030), sexual function (p = 0.0009) and bowel bother (p = 0.0063). At 24 months, bowel function was similar for CRT and BT but both modalities were worse than RP (p = 0.0010). Urinary continence deteriorated most following RP (p < 0.0001) but BT had worse urinary bother (p = 0.0153). Sexual function deteriorated most following RP and BT (p < 0.0005). Percentages of patients achieving erections adequate for sexual activity (from baseline to 24 months) were 66% to 29% for RP, 62% to 49% for CRT and 88% to 65% for BT. Conclusion: This data demonstrates significant differences in disease specific quality-of-life between RP, CRT and BT and should be available for men with early prostate cancer making treatment decisions.
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