According to new data presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting ongoing this week in Boston, MA, some 70 percent of prostate cancer patients participating in a survey in Michigan reported long-term, treatment-related, adverse effects after first-line treatment with surgery or radiation therapy.
The Michigan Prostate Cancer Survivors Study was initiated to describe and quantify long-term symptoms reported by male patients after first-line treatment for prostate cancer. Data were collected from 2,500 men who received an initial diagnosis and first-line treatment for prostate cancer between 1985 to 2004 and who were still alive at the end of 2005.
Data were reported at the conference by May Darwish-Yassine, PhD, and can be summarized as follows:
- The patient mix (at the time of the survey)
- 53.0 percent of participants were 75 years of age or older.
- 33.3 percent of participants were between 65 and 74 years of age.
- 13.8 percent of participants were < 64 years of age.
- 75 percent of participants were Caucasian.
- 11.1 percent of participants were < 5 years post-diagnosis.
- 40.9 percent of participants were 5 to 9 years post-diagnosis.
- 28.8 percent of participants were 10 to 14 years post-diagnosis.
- 19.3 percent of participants were ≥ 15 years post-diagnosis.
- The treatment mix
- About 70 percent of participants had received only one form of therapy.
- 55.1 percent of participants had received surgery alone.
- 67.5 percent of participants had received surgery and some other form of treatment.
- About a third of participants had received external beam radiation therapy.
- 10.0 percent of participants had received some form of brachytherapy.
- 20.0 percent of participants had received some form of androgen deprivation therapy.
- Post-treatment symptoms reported within 4 weeks prior to the survey
- 89.6 percent of participants reported symptoms of sexual dysfunction, including
- Poor or no erection (55 to 85 percent)
- Erection not reliable (54 to 87 percent)
- Erection not firm (61 to 89 percent)
- 69.9 percent of participants reported symptoms of urinary tract dysfunction, inluding
- Urinary leakage (52 to 60 percent)
- Urinary frequency (37 to 50 percent)
- 44.8 percent of participants reported symptoms of bowel dysfunction, including
- Bowel frequency (25 to 37 percent)
- 45.0 percent of participants reported effects on vitality, including
- Lack of energy (26 to 33 percent)
- Severity of post-treatment symptoms
- 46 percent of participants reported sexual dysfunction as a moderate or big problem.
- 20 percent of participants reported urinary tract dysfunction as a moderate or big problem.
- 10 percent of participants reported bowel dysfunction as a moderate or big problem.
- 24 percent of participants reported vitality as a moderate or big problem.
Now we do have to be careful about how we interpret these data. There are a number of issues that could have profoundly affected the resulsts of this study, for example:
- Could the way patients were recruited have made it likely that men with few post-treatment problems did not participate?
- To what extent did increasing age alone affect study results (particularly with respect to sexual function)?
On the other hand, this is the only study we are aware of that has attempted to collect meaningful data on the adverse affects of treatment for prostate cancer for up to 15+ years post-treatment.
The data above have been extracted from a report on this presentation on MedPage Today.