Prospective Long-term Health-related Quality of Life Outcomes After Surgery, Radiotherapy, or Active Surveillance for Localized Prostate Cancer

Eyal Kord*, Nathan Jung, Natasza Posielski, Jiji Jiang, Sally Elsamanoudi, Gregory T. Chesnut, Ryan Speir, Sean Stroup, John Musser, Alexander Ernest, Timothy Tausch, John Paul Flores, Christopher Porter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Localized prostate cancer (PCa) treatment is associated with reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Current literature is limited by short-term follow-up. Objective: To prospectively evaluate the 5-yr HRQoL outcomes in men undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP), external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), or active surveillance (AS). Design, setting, and participants: We prospectively evaluated HRQoL in patients with low-risk/favorable intermediate-risk PCa enrolled in the Center for Prostate Disease Research multicenter database between 2007 and 2017. Intervention: Of 1012 patients included in the study, 252 (24.9%) underwent AS, 557 (55.0%) RP, and 203 (20.0%) EBRT. Patients complete the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite and the 36-item Medical Outcomes Study Short Form at baseline and thereafter each year up to 5 yr after treatment. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Temporal changes in HRQoL were compared between treatments and were modeled using linear regression models adjusted for baseline HRQoL, demographic, and clinical characteristics. Results and limitations: RP showed the least irritative symptoms and worse incontinence in comparison with AS (p < 0.001 for both subdomains) or EBRT (p < 0.001 for both subdomains) at all time points. RP sexual domain score was worse than the scores of AS (mean difference 22.3 points, 95% confidence interval [CI] 10.5–27.8, p < 0.001) and EBRT (mean difference 16.9 points, 95% CI 12.5–20.3, p < 0.001) during years 1–3 and not different from that of EBRT (mean difference 2.9 points, 95% CI –4.8 to 8.3, p = 0.3) at years 4 and 5. Bowel function and bother were worse for EBRT than for AS (p < 0.001 for both subdomains) and RP (p < 0.001 for both subdomains) at all time points. During the 3–5-yr period, AS demonstrated the worst decline in all mental health domains (p < 0.001 in comparison with both EBRT and RP). Conclusions: RP results in worse long-term urinary function and incontinence, but in less irritative and obstructive symptoms than EBRT and AS. Sexual domain scores were least affected by AS, while RP shows similar scores to EBRT at long term. Long-term HRQoL changes are critical for advising patients. Patient summary: We evaluated long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a large US population treated for localized prostate cancer. HRQoL outcomes varied according to treatment modality and time. These changes should inform patients about their expected outcomes following treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Urology Open Science
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Health-related quality of life
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Prostate cancer


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