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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 516-520

Fatigue in prostate cancer patients treated with external beam radiotherapy: A prospective 5-year long-term patient-reported evaluation

Department of Nursing, Umeć University, SE-901 87 Umeć, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Per Fransson
Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing, UMEĆ University, SE-901 87 Umeć
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Source of Support: Swedish Cancer Society, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.77076

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Background: Limited information is available regarding the long-term effect of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) on fatigue in individuals with prostate cancer (PC). Materials and Methods: Men with PC treated with EBRT from January 1992 to June 2003 were enrolled in a prospective study. The QLQ-C30 questionnaire was used to evaluate pre-treatment fatigue and up to 5 years post-treatment. Results: 407 men with 5-year assessments were analyzed. Fatigue increased between pre-treatment (mean: 15.5; CI: 13.6-17.4) and 5-years post-treatment (mean: 22.8; CI: 20.5-25.1; P<0.001). Pre-treatment fatigue was absent in 206/407 (59%) patients and 5-year post-treatment was reported by 264/407 (66%). Sixteen of 407 patients (4%) reported severe fatigue after 5 years. Physical-, emotional-, cognitive function, and dyspnea were the factors that correlated most to higher level of fatigue 5-year post-treatment. Conclusions: Fatigue is a common symptom among patients with PC. A large percentage of patients reported pre-treatment fatigue. Fatigue increased over time, with the highest level seen at the end of EBRT. Severe fatigue was reported by 4% 5-year post-treatment. More work is needed in order to identify which patients are most susceptible to developing fatigue especially during radiotherapy.

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