Posted on March 8th, 2009 by
A recent study indicates that prostate cancer treatment may be associated with changes in quality of life that impact satisfaction with treatment outcomes for both patients and their spouses or partners. These findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Current treatment options for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, or chemotherapy. New forms of treatment being developed in clinical trials include cryosurgery, biologic therapies, and high-intensity focused ultrasound.
Although cancer treatments are planned carefully to minimize side effects, such complications are often difficult to control because treatment not only damages cancerous cells but may also often affect surrounding healthy tissues. Common side effects of prostate cancer treatment may include post surgical pain, urinary incontinence, impotence, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of sexual desire, and hot flashes. These side effects may vary from person to person and by the type and extent of treatment.
In the recent study, conducted at multiple centers within the United State, researchers focused on side effects of treatment for prostate cancer and how they may impact satisfaction with treatment outcomes among patients and their spouses or partners. Outcome and satisfaction before and after treatment of 1,201 patients and 625 spouses or partners was evaluated. Treatment included surgery and either external or internal radiation along with hormonal therapy.
Results of the study revealed the following:
Because prostate cancer treatment is often associated with distinct patterns of side effects affecting urinary, bowl, sexual, and hormonal function, overall satisfaction with treatment outcome among patients as well as their spouse or partner may be influenced by these complications. Further research may be directed toward addressing the side effects of prostate cancer treatment in order to improve patient quality of life and satisfaction with treatment.
Reference: Sanda, M, Dunn, R, Michalski, J., et al. Quality of life and satisfaction with outcome among prostate cancer survivors. New England Journal of Medicine. 2008; 358: 1250-1261.
Related News: Family Intervention Helps Spouses of Prostate Cancer Patients (11/15/2007)
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