prostate cancer study

A major prostate cancer study, the ProtecT trial, has found that men with early prostate cancer have equivalent 10-year cancer-free survival results if they have radiation therapy or surgery, but that radiation therapy causes less urinary incontinence and sexual problems. The study also illustrates that the outcomes for patients with early stage prostate cancer are excellent across the board. Importantly, active surveillance is still a good option for some patients. The side-effect profile does differ between treatments, emphasising the importance of multidisciplinary care. Despite this, less than half of all Australian men with prostate cancer will see a radiation oncologist.

More information can be found on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists website.

dr sid baxiDr Siddhartha Baxi, a radiation oncologist with the South West Radiation Oncology Service in Bunbury, echoed the study’s findings.

‘Patients with prostate cancer should have the opportunity to connect with a urologist and a radiation oncologist to discuss treatment options prior to decision making. Furthermore, patients may need to see a prostate care nurse and their general practitioner for further support, if required. As this particular study recruited and treated patients between 1999 and 2009, it is possible that technological and clinical advances in radiation therapy and surgery probably offer even better results and less side-effects than reported.’

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