Transl Behav Med 2018 03;8(2):156-165
Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, USA.
As many as 40% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have low-risk disease, which results in the need to decide whether to undergo active treatment (AT) or active surveillance (AS). The treatment decision can have a significant effect on general and prostate-specific quality of life (QOL). The purpose of this study was to assess the QOL among men with low-risk prostate cancer during the first year following diagnosis. In a prospective cohort study, we conducted pretreatment telephone interviews (N = 1,139; 69.3% response rate) with low-risk PCa patients (PSA ≤ 10, Gleason ≤ 6) and a follow-up assessment 6-10 months postdiagnosis (N = 1057; 93%). We assessed general depression, anxiety, and physical functioning, prostate-specific anxiety, and prostate-specific QOL at both interviews. Clinical variables were obtained from the medical record. Men were 61.7 (SD = 7.2) years old, 82% white, 39% had undergone AT (surgery or radiation), and 61.0% had begun AS. Linear regression analyses revealed that at follow-up, the AS group reported significantly better sexual, bowel, urinary, and general physical function (compared to AT), and no difference in depression. However, the AS group did report greater general anxiety and prostate-specific anxiety at follow-up, compared to AT. Among men with low-risk PCa, adjusting for pretreatment functioning, the AS group reported better prostate-related QOL, but were worse off on general and prostate-specific anxiety compared to men on AT. These results suggest that, within the first year postdiagnosis, men who did not undergo AT may require additional support in order to remain comfortable with this decision and to continue with AS when it is clinically indicated.