Objectives: To assess the impact of lifestyle on health-related quality of life (HR-QOL), perceived stress, and self-reported sexual function in men with early-stage prostate cancer electing active surveillance.
Methods: A total of 44 intervention and 49 usual-care control participants were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial examining the effects of lifestyle changes on prostate cancer progression. The intervention consisted of a low-fat, vegan diet, exercise, and stress management. Participants completed the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 Health Status Survey (a measure of mental and physical HR-QOL), the Perceived Stress Scale, the Sexual Function subscale of the University of California, Los Angeles, Prostate Cancer Index, and measures of lifestyle behaviors (to yield an overall lifestyle index) at baseline and 12 months. The data were analyzed using analysis of variance for repeated measures. The relationship between lifestyle and QOL was also analyzed using multiple linear regression analyses.
Results: Intervention participants had significantly improved their lifestyle compared with controls at 12 months. The quality-of-life scores were high across groups and time points. However, a healthier lifestyle was related to better QOL at baseline. Participants in both groups who reported a healthier lifestyle also reported better mental and physical HR-QOL and sexual function. Furthermore, participants whose lifestyle improved over time showed enhanced physical HR-QOL and decreased perceived stress.
Conclusions: Men who choose active surveillance for early-stage prostate cancer are able to make comprehensive lifestyle changes. Although the average QOL was already high in this sample, individuals who improved their lifestyle enhanced their QOL further.