Radical prostatectomy and quality of life among African Americans

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Prostate-specific antigen screening has led to an increase in the number of men who present with localized prostate cancer. Patients must engage in decision-making regarding treatment, which is influenced by several factors including patient age at diagnosis, tumor stage, and co-morbidities. Among those patients who decide to undergo potentially curative treatment, quality of life is extremely important. However, quality of life among men with prostate cancer has not been studied extensively compared to other sites. The proposed study addressed the quality of life in 100 African American men who underwent radical prostatectomy. The men had a mean age of 63.7 ± 7.5 and mean age at diagnosis of 59.7 ± 6.9 years. The most common problems or symptoms were erection failure (84.7%), urinary incontinence and frequency (63.3%), pain 54.1%, and fatigue 53.1%. Problems with either sleep or appetite were recorded by 39.8%, and psychological problems related to sadness, worry, nervousness, or feeling of loneliness were reported by 32.6%. Problems most often reported by patients as being moderate to severe in intensity were sex life (67.3%), sexual dysfunction (55.7%), erection (50.0%), and urination frequency (40.8%). These data present patient perception of adverse quality of life outcomes after prostatectomy and underscore the importance of considering both their short- and long-term expectations of treatment options.

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