Men’s experiences of radiotherapy treatment for localized prostate cancer and its long-term treatment side effects: a longitudinal qualitative study

E. Sutton, J. A. Lane, M. Davis, E. I. Walsh, D. E. Neal, F. C. Hamdy, M. Mason, J. Staffurth, R. M. Martin, C. Metcalfe, T. J. Peters, J. L. Donovan, J. Wade*, ProtecT Study Group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate men’s experiences of receiving external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) with neoadjuvant Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) for localized prostate cancer (LPCa) in the ProtecT trial. Methods: A longitudinal qualitative interview study was embedded in the ProtecT RCT. Sixteen men with clinically LPCa who underwent EBRT in ProtecT were purposively sampled to include a range of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. They participated in serial in-depth qualitative interviews for up to 8 years post-treatment, exploring experiences of treatment and its side effects over time. Results: Men experienced bowel, sexual, and urinary side effects, mostly in the short term but some persisted and were bothersome. Most men downplayed the impacts, voicing expectations of age-related decline, and normalizing these changes. There was some reticence to seek help, with men prioritizing their relationships and overall health and well-being over returning to pretreatment levels of function. Some unmet needs with regard to information about treatment schedules and side effects were reported, particularly among men with continuing functional symptoms. Conclusions: These findings reinforce the importance of providing universal clear, concise, and timely information and supportive resources in the short term, and more targeted and detailed information and care in the longer term to maintain and improve treatment experiences for men undergoing EBRT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-269
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • External-beam radiotherapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Qualitative research
  • Radiotherapy
  • Treatment experiences
  • Treatment side effects

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