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Prostate cancer study tracks long-term urinary, sexual and bowel function side effects
Date:1/30/2013

ceived radiation therapy," explained Resnick. "While treatment-related differences were significant in the early years following treatment, those differences became far less pronounced over time."

Despite early and intermediate-term data revealing treatment-dependent differences in patterns of sexual dysfunction, after five years both groups had a gradual decline in sexual function.

At 15 years, erectile dysfunction was nearly universal with 87 percent in the prostatectomy group and 93.9 percent in the radiotherapy group reporting sexual difficulties.

The authors noted that age may have played a role in the patients' waning sexual function, as shown in unrelated studies.

Some patients also experienced problems with bowel function in the years following treatment. Those who were treated with radiotherapy had more problems in the short term. Men in the radiotherapy group reported significantly higher rates of bowel urgency than those in the prostatectomy group at two years and five years. However, at 15 years, despite absolute differences in the prevalence of bowel urgency between the two groups, the researchers found no significant difference in the odds of bowel urgency. Men who had been treated with radiotherapy were significantly more likely to report being bothered by bowel symptoms at both the two-year and 15-year points.

"This study of 15-year outcomes represents a mature portrait of quality of life issues following prostate cancer treatment," said David Penson, M.D., MPH, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, professor of Urologic Surgery and Medicine, and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research, the senior study author.

"Regardless of the form of initial treatment, patients in this study had significant declines in sexual and urinary function over the duration of the study. The causes of these declines probably include advancing age and additional cancer therapies, in
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Contact: Dagny Stuart
dagny.stuart@vanderbilt.edu
615-936-7245
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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