Active Surveillance or Another Prostate Cancer Treatment? Choices Linked to Quality of Life

Active surveillance of low-risk prostate cancer is as good as treating it in many cases, and spares patients such distressing treatment side effects as sexual-functioning problems, according to a study on the quality of life impact of various treatments.

Surgery, although performed with robotic techniques designed to limit prostate damage, is associated with sexual side effects and urinary leaks, the study found. Other treatments were linked to different kinds of complications.

The study, “Association Between Choice of Radical Prostatectomy, External Beam Radiotherapy, Brachytherapy, or Active Surveillance and Patient-Reported Quality of Life Among Men With Localized Prostate Cancer,” was published in the journal JAMA.

Quality of life is an important motivator when choosing treatment options. It’s therefore great to see patients who opted for a brachytherapy procedure, seeing similar QOL results to those on active surveillance at the two-year point with a treatment shown to be effective in killing the cancer. Now, modern seed brachytherapy techniques like 4D Brachytherapy have shown significant improvements in preserving sexual function too.