Lifestyle factors correlate with the risk of late pelvic symptoms after prostatic radiotherapy - Abstract

AIMS: Although technological improvements are reducing the risks of late side-effects of radiotherapy for prostate cancer, the influence of lifestyle has been less well examined.

The aim of this study was to correlate the effects of exercise, body mass index and smoking on the incidence and severity of late pelvic symptoms after radical radiotherapy for prostate cancer.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:In total, 440 men completed a questionnaire consisting of the Vaizey rectal symptoms score, the National Cancer Institute common symptoms scores for rectal bleeding, erectile function and urinary incontinence, the General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire and questions regarding smoking, height and weight. The effect of each lifestyle factor on pelvic symptoms was investigated using a non-parametric multivariate ANOVA (Kruskal-Wallis) test and the chi-squared test.

RESULTS: At the time of the survey, 63.3% of men were overweight or obese (body mass index > 25 kg/m2) and 71% were inactive or moderately inactive. Active men had significantly lower rectal symptoms scores (P < 0.001) and better erectile (P < 0.001) and urinary function (P < 0.01). Men smoking more than five a day had higher rectal symptoms scores (P < 0.001), as did overweight men (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The data show lower late pelvic symptoms after radiotherapy among non-smokers and physically active individuals with a body mass index < 25. Although these results would ideally require confirmation in a prospective study, we now include advice on lifestyle in our pre-radiotherapy information pack. The high percentage of obesity and inactivity among this cohort of prostate cancer survivors revealed in this study has prompted the development of an exercise/weight reduction programme in our unit.

Written by:
Thomas RJ, Holm M, Williams M, Bowman E, Bellamy P, Andreyev J, Maher J.   Are you the author?
The Primrose Research Unit, Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, Bedford, UK; Addenbrooke's Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK; Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK.

Reference: Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2013 Jan 9. pii: S0936-6555(12)00361-5.
doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2012.11.007

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 23312810 Prostate Cancer Section