Patients' reports may aid prostate cancer treatment choice

CHICAGO -- Men with early-stage prostate cancer face a dizzying quandary over which treatment to choose, but two new studies on side effects may make those decisions a bit easier.

The research is based on patients' reports a few years after treatment. The results bolster evidence sexual problems and urinary incontinence are more common after surgery than after radiation or "watchful waiting" without treatment. But it also shows differences in quality of life tend to wane with time for those with prostate cancer that hasn't spread. That's the type that affects most men with the disease.

Men's sexual and urinary function before diagnosis also plays a role in quality of life after treatment.

Both U.S. studies were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.