Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Localized cancers are the most common, but the quality of life outcomes after their diagnosis is not well documented. This study aims to assess the treatment-related changes in quality of life up to 15 years after the diagnosis of localized prostate cancer.

This prospective, population-based cohort study included a total of 1,642 men aged 70 or less with localized prostate cancer and 786 controls. The quality of life outcomes were self-reported by the patients over a 15-year period. The researchers calculated adjusted mean differences in the baseline score of the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey scale.

During a maximum follow-up of 15 years, high levels of erectile dysfunction were reported in all groups. The prevalence of ED was 62.3% in patients who underwent active surveillance and watchful waiting, as compared with 83% in those who underwent non-nerve sparing radical prostatectomy. The controls had a 42.7% prevalence of erectile dysfunction. Besides, men who underwent androgen deprivation therapy, external beam radiation therapy, or high dose rate brachytherapy reported bowel problems.

The research concluded that patients who underwent treatment for prostate cancer experienced erectile dysfunction and bowel problems.