Patient-reported quality of life after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer

Yoichi Arai, Kazutoshi Okubo, Yoshitaka Aoki, Shinya Maekawa, Takashi Okada, Hiroshi Maeda, Osamu Ogawa, Tetsuro Kato

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Increasingly, quality of life (QOL) assessments are receiving greater attention in the management of malignancies, including prostate cancer. We evaluated the impact of radical prostatectomy on patient QOL 12 months or longer after surgery. Patients and Methods: We evaluated the impact of radical prostatectomy on QOL in 60 patients with prostate cancer. The patients comprised two groups: the first group (n=32) was evaluated 12 months or longer after radical prostatectomy; the second group (n=28) was evaluated while awaiting radical prostatectomy. General health-related QOL was measured with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Prostate Cancer QOL Questionnaire. Sexual function was assessed with the Sapporo Medical University Sexual Function Questionnaire. A newly developed instrument assessing urinary function was prepared only for the postoperative group. Results: No differences between the two groups were seen in comparisons of general health-related QOL subscales. Men who underwent surgery reported significant deterioration in sexual function (decreased quality of erection, decreased sexual activity and decreased satisfaction with sex life) than those awaiting surgery. Of the 32 postoperative patients, 26 (81%) did not use pads at all, five (16%) used one or fewer pads per day due to occasional spotting and only one patient (3%) used two to four pads per day to deal with urine dripping. Twenty-six postoperative patients (81%) stated that, given the choice, they would undergo radical prostatectomy again. Conclusions: General health-related QOL does not appear to be compromised following radical prostatectomy. Patients are willing to accept some morbidity for a perceived survival benefit. Although minimal urinary dysfunction was reported, most patients were dissatisfied with postoperative sexual function. In preoperative counselling, greater emphasis should be placed on the risk of postoperative impotence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Quality of life
  • Radical prostatectomy
  • Sexual function
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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