For prostate cancer men are willing to sacrifice the chance of survival for quality of life

Men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer are willing to partially trade the prognosis of survival and better quality of life and no side effects from the treatment. The study of this phenomenon was presented by Professor Hashim Ahmed (HashimAhmed) from Imperial College London for the National conference of the American society of cancer research.

Prostate cancer often progresses slowly, in some cases representing a good prognosis for survival even without treatment. Treatment may include surgery and radiation therapy. Both methods can lead to urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction. Some patients required a second stage of treatment.

A new study suggests that although patients appreciate lifetime, it is important for them and the quality of life, because of this, they can choose the reduction treatment.

Men with early prostate cancer have to choose between active surveillance with regular examinations and a more invasive therapy. Previously it was shown that men with prostate cancer at low risk do not benefit in the ten-year survival after surgery. High risk for cancer ten year survival rate increased by 5%. We know that men want to live longer, but many of them become depressed after treatment, and the quality of life and personal relationships suffer, – said Ahmed.

In their study, Professor Ahmed and co-authors interviewed 634 patient who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. They presented two hypothetical treatment options, emphasizing how they will affect the survival and quality of life. Study participants were asked which method they would choose. The questions were repeated with emphasis on various treatment side effects. This has helped scientists to understand how important each factor for patients.

The result showed that survival was the most important factor. It was followed by the fear of the possible incontinence, unwillingness of the next phase of treatment and, finally, impotence.

At the same time, it was also seen that patients wanted to lead to a balance of survival and side effects. It has been shown that they are willing to exchange:

  • 0,68% improvement in survival if it provides 1% improvement in the preservation of function of urinary system.
  • 0.41% of improvement in survival in 1% probability that the second stage of treatment is not required.
  • 0,28% improvement of survival at 1% probability of maintaining normal erectile function.

Scientists emphasize that the duration of life remains a priority, but treatment with fewer side effects is of particular value. First of all we are talking about active monitoring, and local cancer therapy.

Ukrainian Andrei