Purpose Harms of prostate cancer treatment on urinary health related quality of life have been thoroughly studied. In this study we evaluated not only the harms but also the potential benefits of prostate cancer treatment in relieving the pretreatment urinary symptom burden. Materials and Methods In American (1,021) and Spanish (539) multicenter prospective cohorts of men with localized prostate cancer we evaluated the effects of radical prostatectomy, external radiotherapy or brachytherapy in relieving pretreatment urinary symptoms and in inducing urinary symptoms de novo, measured by changes in urinary medication use and patient reported urinary bother. Results Urinary symptom burden improved in 23% and worsened in 28% of subjects after prostate cancer treatment in the American cohort. Urinary medication use rates before treatment and 2 years after treatment were 15% and 6% with radical prostatectomy, 22% and 26% with external radiotherapy, and 19% and 46% with brachytherapy, respectively. Pretreatment urinary medication use (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0–2.0, p = 0.04) and pretreatment moderate lower urinary tract symptoms (OR 2.8, 95% CI 2.2–3.6) predicted prostate cancer treatment associated relief of baseline urinary symptom burden. Subjects with pretreatment lower urinary tract symptoms who underwent radical prostatectomy experienced the greatest relief of pretreatment symptoms (OR 4.3, 95% CI 3.0–6.1), despite the development of deleterious de novo urinary incontinence in some men. The magnitude of pretreatment urinary symptom burden and beneficial effect of cancer treatment on those symptoms were verified in the Spanish cohort. Conclusions Men with pretreatment lower urinary tract symptoms may experience benefit rather than harm in overall urinary outcome from primary prostate cancer treatment. Practitioners should consider the full spectrum of urinary symptom burden evident before prostate cancer treatment in treatment decisions.
- outcome assessment (health care)
- patient-centered care
- prostatic neoplasms
- quality of life
- surveys and questionnaires