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Few men use radiation therapy for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor. In Germany, prostate cancer kills around three in a hundred men. Researchers found that radiation therapy for prostate cancer is as effective as surgical removal. However, this type of treatment is only used by a few sick people.
Scientists from internationally recognized Oxford University and the University of Bristol found in an investigation that radiation therapy for prostate cancer is comparable in effectiveness to surgical removal of the tumors. However, few men seem to see an oncologist for treatment. The doctors have now published the results of their study in the journal “New England Journal of Medicine”.
Study examines effects of different treatment methods
Prostate cancer is a common malignant tumor. In Germany, prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death. A British study has now examined the effects of radiation therapy, surgery and surveillance in men with early prostate cancer. The doctors found that men who underwent radiation therapy or surgery are less likely to get cancer again than actively monitored patients.
Radiotherapy leads to fewer sexual problems
There is no real difference in quality of life between radiation therapy and surgery. After the so-called radiation therapy, there are generally fewer sexual problems or difficulties with urination, the authors say. This could be particularly important. Also because another research had already shown that regular sex prevents prostate cancer.
Types of treatment and their impact on our survival
The results of the new study show whether there are differences in the probability of survival and the spread of cancer, which are influenced by the type of treatment used, the doctors explain. To do this, they examined the effects of active monitoring, radiation therapy and surgical intervention.
Radiotherapy and prostatectomy are approximately equally effective
Curative radiation therapy helps control prostate cancer as well as radical prostatectomy (prostate enucleation or prostate removal). The quality of life of those affected is also comparable, the scientists say.
Sick people should get advice from all experts
Active monitoring of early prostate cancer still plays a very important role in treatment. Nevertheless, men should also know all of their treatment options for prostate cancer. Affected people should talk to both a urologist and a so-called radiation oncologist about their disease, the scientists advise. Men should take the time to do a thorough investigation, the experts said. It is important to talk to all medical specialists about the problem and to explain different treatment approaches. Unfortunately, far too few people with prostate cancer can be informed about a possible treatment by a radiation oncologist, according to the researchers.
Study examined 82,429 men
The randomized study was carried out by researchers from the universities of Oxford and Bristol. Doctors examined a total of 82,429 men aged 50 to 69 in nine British centers. Among the participants, 1,643 localized prostate cancer was diagnosed, the doctors say. The research team examined mortality rates after ten years, cancer progression and the effects of the various treatment methods. (as)