Around 48,500 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, meaning one in eight can expect to get a diagnosis during their lifetime.
Carried out on behalf of the charities Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK) and Movember, Life After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis surveyed 35,823 men in the UK who were between 18 and 42 months post-diagnosis about their quality of life, psychological wellbeing, and social and financial situation.
The study found poor sexual function was very common, but more than half received no intervention for it. Findings also highlighted the negative impact of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), compared to other prostate cancer treatments, on quality of life, and that approximately one in five men later regretted the treatment choice they had made.
The research has been used by the charities to influence policy-makers and to lobby for improved services for men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Toolkits presenting individual NHS trust-level patient outcomes data alongside national comparisons were presented to all 111 NHS trusts that took part in the study. As a result of the findings, PCUK is exploring variation in the use of ADT and how to ensure men receiving this treatment are well supported. In addition, they undertook an investigation into how treatment decision-making can be better supported.
Data from the study was also used by Movember to populate an interactive, web-based tool for use by patients. Men Like Me enables men with prostate cancer to explore outcomes for men with similar characteristics and who had similar treatment, thus helping them to understand what to expect after diagnosis and treatment, make an informed decision about treatment options, and know where to seek help for side effects. The charity also funded an online self-management programme for people living with prostate cancer including an e-resource on maximising sexual wellbeing.