Health-related quality of life in treatment for prostate cancer: looking beyond survival

Support Cancer Ther. 2004 Jul 1;1(4):230-6. doi: 10.3816/SCT.2004.n.015.


Improvements in detecting and treating prostate cancer account for the need to evaluate strategies for optimizing quality of life (QOL) among survivors of prostate cancer. Several management options are available when prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. However, the optimal treatment for localized prostate cancer is unknown, and reports in the literature are controversial regarding the best treatment modality. In this article, the authors will review the standard therapies used to treat localized prostate cancer and the effects of these therapies on a patient's QOL. Ultimately, the decision of which treatment modality to choose will be a decision based largely on individual patient preferences in concert with his physician and family members, in view of a thorough understanding of the available treatments and the full range of possible treatment-related side effects.