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Long term complications of surgery and radiotherapy for prostate cancer

A 2018/2019 Summer Studentship research project

This research will allow Oncologists and Urologists to give patients more information about their proposed treatment and may help in the decision to treat process.

logo - Cancer Society of New ZealandStudent: Brennan Carne
Supervisor: Sharon English
Sponsor: Cancer Society of New Zealand Canterbury/West Coast Division

Project brief


Localised prostate cancer may be treated with either radiotherapy or radical prostatectomy. Both of these treatments have complications that may occur immediately after the surgery or over the rest of the patient’s lifetime. These complications include urethral strictures, incontinence, haematuria, bowel bleeding and secondary cancers. There has been little research done on complications that affect patients quality of life at 10–20 years after treatment.


To assess complications that have occurred 10–20 years after curative treatment for prostate cancer and assess the effect on quality of life.


The Urology Prostate Cancer Database will be used to identify patients that have been treated more than 10 years ago. There are over 350 patients in this group. The medical records of the patients will be reviewed to see if they have had an hospital admission related to complications from their treatment.  Any surgery that may have been necessary will also be recorded. 50–100 patients in each group will be consented to complete a Quality of Life Questionnaire asking questionnaires particularly about bladder, bowel, and sexual function.

Student researcher’s component of the study

The student will be have access to the Prostate cancer database. They will review patient’s notes to identify complications. They will assist in identifying the cohort of 50–100 patients and will administer then assess the Quality of Life questionnaires.