Objective: The purpose of this study was to clarify characteristics of baseline health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during the diagnostic process of prostate cancer.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted to measure HRQOL in a cohort of 141 patients in whom prostate cancer was suspected and prostate biopsy was scheduled, using both generic and disease-specific HRQOL measures (SF-36, UCLA-Prostate Cancer Index) at two points: before prostate biopsy (prediagnosis) and after giving biopsy results (postdiagnosis). Seventy-three patients were diagnosed with prostate cancer and 68 were not.
Results: Compared to age-gender adjusted population norms, patients demonstrated better physical function (PF) and worse mental health (MH). Characteristic age-related changes were found in PF and sexual function (SXF); however, disease stage exhibited no relevant effects in HRQOL. No significant difference was detected between pre- and postdiagnosis SF-36 and UCLA-PCI scores.
Conclusion: The present study discovered no relevant impact of the diagnostic process of prostate cancer on baseline HRQOL using SF-36 and UCLA-PCI. Combined with results of previous studies, it is supportive of regarding pretreatment levels of HRQOL as the baseline.