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Abstract

Volume 14, Issue 2 (March 2012) 14, 226–231; 10.1038/aja.2011.108

Quality of life issues in men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy: a review

Rowan G Casey, Niall M Corcoran and S Larry Goldenberg

University of British Columbia Department of Urologic Sciences, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada

Correspondence: Dr RG Casey, (rowan.casey@gmail.com)

Received 4 July 2011; Revised 10 October 2011; Accepted 16 November 2011; Advance online publication 9 January 2012

Abstract

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been an essential treatment option for treating prostate cancer (PCa). The role for hormonal treatment initially was restricted to men with metastatic and inoperable, locally advanced disease. Now it has been extended to neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for surgery and radiotherapy, for biochemical relapse after surgery or radiation, and even as primary therapy for non-metastatic disease. Fifty percent of PCa patients treated will receive ADT at some point. There is growing concern about the adverse effects and costs associated with more widespread ADT use. The adverse effects on quality of life (QoL), including physical, social and psychological well-being when men are androgen-deprived, may be considerable. This review examines the QoL issues in the following areas: body feminisation, sexual changes, relationship changes, cognitive and affective symptoms, fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression and physical effects. Further suggestions for therapeutic approaches to reduce these alterations are suggested.

Keywords: androgen deprivation therapy; men; prostate cancer; quality of life

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