Racial or Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities in Prostate Cancer Survivors’ Prostate-specific Quality of Life

Heather Orom, Caitlin Biddle, Willie Underwood, Gregory G. Homish, Carl A. Olsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To conduct a prospective study to examine whether there are pretreatment and post-treatment disparities in urinary, sexual, and bowel quality of life (QOL) by race or ethnicity, education, or income in men with clinically localized prostate cancer (PCa.) Methods: Participants (N = 1508; 81% white; 12% black; 7% Hispanic; 50% surgery; 27% radiotherapy; 23% active surveillance) completed the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite measure of PCa-specific QOL prior to treatment, 6 weeks, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after treatment. We analyzed pretreatment differences in QOL with multivariable linear regression and post-treatment differences with generalized estimating equation models. Results: Blacks and Hispanics (compared with whites) and men with lower income had worse pretreatment urinary function; poorer and less educated men had worse pretreatment sexual function (P <.05). In adjusted models, among men treated surgically, blacks and Hispanics had worse bowel function compared with whites, and men with lower income experienced more sexual bother and slower recovery in urinary function. Not all racial or ethnic differences favored whites; blacks had higher sexual function than whites prior to surgery and improved faster after surgery. Blacks receiving radiotherapy had lower post-treatment bowel bother than whites (P <.05). Conclusion: Controlling for baseline QOL, there were some post-treatment disparities in urinary and sexual QOL that suggest the need to investigate whether treatment quality and access to follow-up care is equitable. However, survivorship disparities may, to a greater extent, reflect disadvantages in baseline health that exacerbate QOL issues after treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Feb 2018


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