A large-scale prospective cohort study on long-term survivors of prostate cancer has found that the effects of recurrence and side effects from treatment on quality of life are insignificant.
|Professor Jeong Chang-wook of the Department of Urology at Seoul National University Hospital|
Prostate cancer is treated by various methods, including surgery, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy. However, the treatment complications such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and side effects from hormonal therapy were considered to be a major problem.
Professor Jeong Chang-wook of the Department of Urology at Seoul National University Hospital conducted the study jointly with the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. He measured the health utility, which quantifies the quality of life from 0 (death) to 1 (perfect health) based on the condition of long-term survivors from prostate cancer.
Previous studies presented a hypothetical patient condition from ordinary people or those who have just undergone diagnosis. And they presumed a very low quality of life due to various disease conditions and treatment complications.
In this study, the actual patients who were in any condition or received any treatment unexpectedly maintained a high quality of life. Among them, the patients who underwent surgery showed the highest quality of life ultimately because, despite frequent complications, they showed a low recurrence rate, and the reduction of quality of life resulting from such complications was insignificant.
"There has been no study that directly assessed the health utility of long-term survivors from cancer on such a large scale," Professor Jeong said while explaining the importance of the study.
Subjective preferences may also vary among patients, so an individually customized treatment that considers the cancer treatments and the degree of complications is necessary, Professor Jeong added.
The study won recognition for its excellence and was published in December 2019 issue of European Urology (Citation Index 17.298), which is one of the highest authoritative journals of urology.
Biological Research Information Center also recognized Professor Jeong's achievements in the study and named him as one of the “People Who Made Korea Shine,” which is his second appointment in 2019 alone.
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