Radiotherapy Boosts Prostate Cancer Survivability Years Down the Road

The American Cancer Society anticipates about 180,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States over the next year. About 26,000 men will die from the disease. When caught in its earliest phases, prostate cancer has a tremendously high survival rate. For those who require more aggressive treatment to tackle the disease, research is showing that radiation can play an especially crucial role even years down the road. As it turns out, radiotherapy has been shown to cut the morbidity rate by half 15 years after diagnosis.

The latest finding supporting the use of radiotherapy in treating prostate cancer comes from a study involving more than 850 patients. Researchers focused on patients with locally advanced prostate or aggressive prostate cancer who were diagnosed between 1996 and 2002. The patients were followed over the course of years. At the end of the long-term follow up of 15 years after diagnosis, researchers found patients who underwent radiotherapy saw their risks of dying from prostate cancer drop from about 34 percent to 17 percent.

Radiation therapy is commonly used in prostate cancer treatments, depending on a patient’s unique case. This treatment is advised based on the nature of the tumor, its stage and aggressiveness. Men will find that radiation treatment options may vary greatly based on their unique case. External beam radiation, for example, may be recommended in some cases. In others, a more targeted treatment known as brachytherapy may be recommended. This therapy calls for the implantation of tiny radioactive seed pellets directly into the prostate tumor. In both cases, radiation is used to effectively eradicate cancer cells and prevent their spread.

Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are urged to talk to their doctors about all treatment options. Radiation therapy has long been proven to provide men with positive outcomes. Radiation, however, is not without its own share of potential side effects and risks. The best treatment path for a man diagnosed with prostate cancer will depend on the particulars of his unique case.

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