Medline: 8708715

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 14(8): 2258-2265, 1996. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 14(8): 2258-2265, 1996. may be available online for subscribers.

Outcomes of external-beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer: a study of Medicare beneficiaries in three Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results areas.

Fowler FJ Jr, Barry MJ, Lu-Yao G, et al.

Abstract:

Purpose:
This study was designed to obtain representative estimates of the quality of life and probabilities of possible adverse effects among Medicare-age patients treated with external-beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

Methods:
Patients treated for local or regional prostate cancer with high-energy external-beam radiation between 1989 and 1991 were sampled from a claims data base of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program from three regions. Patients were surveyed primarily by mail, with telephone follow-up evaluation of non-respondents. There were 621 respondents (83% response rate). The results were compared with data from a previously published national survey of Medicare-age men who had undergone radical prostatectomy.

Results:
Although they were older at the time of treatment, radiation patients were less likely than surgical patients to wear pads for wetness (7% v 32%) and had a lower rate of impotence (23% v 56% for men < 70 years), while they were more likely to report problems with bowel dysfunction (10% v 4%). Both groups reported generally positive feelings about their treatments. Radiation and surgical patients reported similar rates of additional subsequent treatment (24% v 26% at 3 years after primary treatment). However, radiation patients were less likely to say they were cancer-free, and they reported more worry about cancer than did surgical patients.

Conclusion:
The health-related quality of life of radiation and surgical patients, on average, is similar, but the pattern of experience with adverse consequences of treatment differs by treatment.


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