A Comparison of Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy and External Beam Radiation Therapy for Urinary and Sexual Function in Men Treated for Prostate Cancer
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INTRODUCTION: Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Robot Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy (RALP) and External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) are standard treatments for clinically localized prostate cancer, but both of these treatments have negative consequences for urinary and sexual function in patients. PURPOSE: To compare changes in urinary and sexual function for men treated with RALP and EBRT. HYPOTHESIS: It was hypothesized that patients treated with EBRT would have better recovery of sexual function, and patients treated with RALP would have better recovery of urinary function. METHODS: Urinary and sexual function for patients treated for prostate cancer was examined using Expanded Prostate Index Composite (EPIC) questionnaires. These questionnaires were completed before treatment and two years after initial treatment in 32 men treated with EBRT, and 104 men treated with RALP. The difference between initial treatment scores and 2-year scores were analyzed with a general linear model(GLM) procedure to assess the quality of life outcomes for EBRT and RALP. RESULTS: No significant difference was found for change in urinary function for either treatment group (p = 0.41). EBRT was found to significantly increase recovery sexual function compared to RALP (p = 0.04). CONCLUSION: EBRT is a superior treatment for preserving sexual function in men with prostate cancer, whereas there is no significant difference in recovery of urinary function.