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Active surveillance avoids urinary, sexual declines of radical prostatectomy

April 23, 2015

Active surveillance and radical prostatectomy conferred similar mental health outcomes in patients with low-risk prostate cancer; however, the surgical procedure was linked to worse urinary and sexual outcomes, according to study results.   

“It is important to consider health-related quality-of-life outcomes when deciding on an approach to minimize both the physical and psychological burden of the disease and its treatment,” Jennifer Cullen, PhD, MPH, of the Center for Prostate Disease Research at the Department of Defense, and colleagues wrote. “To help patients weigh the costs and benefits of [prostate cancer] management strategies, studies that examine the impact of treatment choice on short-term and long-term [health-related quality of life] are warranted. Patients who are managed with [active surveillance] may be spared some of the decline in physical [health-related quality of life] compared with patients who receive definitive treatments, such as radical prostatectomy, but they could concomitantly suffer greater mental health declines because of the anxiety of delaying therapy.”

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