Purpose: Cryosurgery, the hi situ reduction of tumor by the application of sub zero temperatures is a treatment that was introduced as an alternative to either radiotherapy or radical prostatectomy in the mid 1960's. It was found to meet the primary objectives of controlling the cancer. However, due to a high incidence of complications and their resulting impairment of the men's quality of life, this treatment was largely abandoned. Technological advances in the areas of ultrasound imaging and urethral warming have renewed interest in this treatment's methodology. The current study was designed to describe the quality of life of men enrolled in a Phase 11 clinical trial of cryosurgery for the treatment of localized prostate cancer.
Methods: Men were administered the Functional Assessment of Cancer Treatment Prostate Quality of Life Questionnaire prior to their treatment; and at six weeks, and 3, 6, 12, and 36 months post-treatment. Also, at 36 months the men were interviewed about their sexual function.
Results: Although noticeable impairments in quality of life was seen at six weeks post surgery, by 12 months the men had returned to a similar level of life quality that they enjoyed prior to their treatment. These improvements were maintained over the 36 months of follow-up. There was one exception to this general trend. At 36 months, there were remaining concerns in the area of sexual functioning. Compared to the standard treatments of radical prostatectomy and radical radiotherapy, men treated with cryosurgery appeared to have a similar quality of life with perhaps the exception of sexual functioning.
Conclusion : Quality of life outcomes support the renewed interest in Cryosurgery for thetreatment of localized prostate cancer