Physical after-effects in men undergoing prostate biopsy in routine clinical practice: Results from the PiCTure study

As the incidence of prostate cancer has, until recently, increased in most developed countries, the rates of prostate biopsies, required for histological diagnosis, will also have increased. Little is known about the physical after-effects of prostate biopsy outside randomised control trials. We investigate reports on the physical effect of prostate biopsy undertaken in men in routine practice.

A self-completed questionnaire was given to men living in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) or Northern Ireland 4 to 6 weeks after prostate biopsy. Men were asked about whether they experienced specific physical after-effects postbiopsy (raised temperature/pain/bleeding/erectile dysfunction/urinary retention) and, if so, their severity and duration, and any associated health care uses. Binomial and ordinal logistic regression was used to investigate factors associated with postbiopsy after-effects (presence/absence) and number of after-effects reported, respectively.

Postbiopsy after-effects were common with 88.1% of 335 respondents reporting at least 1 after-effect; 21% reported at least 3. The odds of increasing number of after-effects was over 2-fold in men with both intermediate (odds ratio [OR] = 2.59, 95% CI: 1.52-4.42) and high (OR = 2.52, 95% CI: 1.28-4.94) levels of health anxiety and for men who had had multiple previous biopsies (adjusted OR = 2.02, 95% CI: 1.20-3.41). A total of 21.3% of men who experienced after-effects reported that they were worse than expected, 11.5% with after-effects reported contacting their doctor or local pharmacy, 14.6% contacted hospital services, and 3.1% of men with after-effects were admitted to hospital with an average stay of 5.4 nights (standard deviation = 6.3).

Physical after-effects following prostate biopsy in routine practice are common, and in some men, serious enough to warrant contacting hospital or community services. Men with increased health anxiety or who undergo multiple biopsies might benefit from additional support.

Urologic oncology. 2017 Jul 10 [Epub ahead of print]

Eileen Morgan, Frances J Drummond, Catherine Coyle, Linda Sharp, Anna T Gavin

Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Centre for Public Health, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Electronic address: ., Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland., Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland, Belfast, Northern Ireland., Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom., Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Centre for Public Health, Belfast, Northern Ireland.