Published online Jul 26, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i21.5932
Peer-review started: January 22, 2021
First decision: April 29, 2021
Revised: May 8, 2021
Accepted: May 27, 2021
Article in press: May 27, 2021
Published online: July 26, 2021
The side effects of prostate cancer (PCa) treatment are very prominent, with cancer-related fatigue (CRF) being the most common. Fatigue is a distressing symptom that interferes with daily functioning and seriously affects patient quality of life during, and for many years after, treatment. However, the exact statistics on the prevalence of CRF in patients with PCa remain unknown.
Recently, there has been an increased interest in investigating the impacts of fatigue in men with PCa. However, they do not adequately reflect the current prevalence of fatigue in PCa patients.
We performed a meta-analysis with two main aims. The first aim was to compute a robust estimate of the prevalence of PCa-related fatigue based on high-quality studies with sufficiently large sample sizes. The second aim was to evaluate the effects of different treatment methods and the fatigue assessment times on the prevalence of CRF in patients.
A systematic search of EMBASE, PubMed, OVID, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, WANFANG DATA, Technology Journal Database and the Chinese Biological Medical Database was conducted up to July 28, 2020. Included studies measured the incidence of prostate CRF and differentiated fatigue outcomes (incidence) between treatment modalities and fatigue assessment times. In our meta-analysis, both fixed and random-effects models were used to estimate the pooled prevalence of prostate CRF. Publication and sensitivity bias analyses were performed to test the robustness of the associations.
Fourteen studies, involving 4736 patients, were eligible for the review. The results showed that the pooled prevalence of cancer treatment-related fatigue was 40%. Interestingly, the prevalence of CRF was associated with the type of treatment that the patients received; those undergoing radical prostatectomy had the lowest prevalence of fatigue. Further, there is a high prevalence of persistent fatigue.
Fatigue is a common symptom in men with prostate cancer, especially those using hormone therapy.
Our meta-analysis revealed that patients with PCa have a high prevalence of CRF. Unfortunately, limited fatigue management research has been conducted in patients with PCa. Many interventions deserve further study to determine effective fatigue management strategies for patients with PCa.