Sexual function with localized prostate cancer: active surveillance vs radical therapy

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OBJECTIVE To compare sexual function of men with localized prostate cancer (PCa) on active surveillance (AS) with similar patients who received radical therapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS Two groups of men with screening-detected localized PCa were compared. The first were men on AS within the prospective protocol-based Prostate Cancer Research International: Active Surveillance study. The second were men participating in the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer study who had received radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiation therapy (RT). Questionnaires were completed at two different timepoints after diagnosis or treatment (6 and 12-18 months). These contained 10 items on sexual function, the mental and physical component summary from the Short-Form 12-item health survey, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale depression measure and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory general anxiety measure. Sexual function was compared between groups, and determinants were analysed in multivariable analysis, adjusting for baseline differences. RESULTS A total of 65-68% of men on AS, 35-36% of those who underwent RP, 36-37% of those who underwent RT and 36% of men in the RP and RT groups combined (combined Tx) were sexually active. A total of 20-30% of men in the AS group, 86-91% of men in the RP group, 56-60% of men in the RT group and 71-76% of men in the combined Tx group were sexually inactive as a result of erectile dysfunction. A total of 44-51% of men in the AS group, 96% of men in the RP group, 73-76% of men in the RT group and 84-85% of men in the combined Tx group who were sexually active had problems getting or keeping an erection. In multivariable analysis these differences were significant, except for AS vs RT. CONCLUSIONS Men with localized PCa on AS were more often sexually active than similar men who received radical therapy, especially RP. If not sexually active, this was less often attributable to erectile dysfunction for those on AS. If sexually active, this was less often associated with problems getting or keeping an erection for those on AS. The study was non-randomized; the latest advances in RP and RT might impact results.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1032-1039
Number of pages8
JournalBJU International
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC MM-03-49-01
  • EMC NIHES-02-65-01

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