Better Assessment of Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer Patients.

Better Assessment of Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer Patients

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options: Research reported in JAMA Oncology reported that regardless of aggressiveness of the tumor, risk to the patient, and overall patient prognosis, radiation therapy was the most common treatment for men with prostate cancer. This finding was based upon an analysis of claims data of over 37,000 patients over a three year period between 2004 and 2007. Radiation therapy was used for 58 percent of the patients. followed by 19 percent for radical prostatectomy (a surgical procedure to remove the prostate) and 10 percent for oi=ther treatments including watchful waiting and active surveillance. Researcher said patients must consider recommendations of the physician, the aggressiveness of their cancer, whether active surveillance is preferred over treatment, and the health care costs. They found that the main predictor of a man receiving radiation was a referral to a radiation oncologist. On the other hand, urologists and surgeons significantly recommended surgery only after incorporating the patients age, health and the aggressiveness of the cancer.

Researchers said “Doctors and patients view radiation as safe. There’s  no anesthesia or hospitalization, the patient comes in for 15 or 20 minutes for the daily radiation treatment, it’s localized to a specific area, then they get to go home.  They often don’t notice any immediate effects upfront.” But by two years after  treatment, men often begin to suffer from side effects including urinary incontinence and leakage of urine, anal leakage and bowel dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, blood in the urine, and radiation cystitis.  These may vary from mid to serious.

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