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Treatment Mode Has Little Effect on Long-Term Function in Prostate Cancer — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 31, 2013

Treatment Mode Has Little Effect on Long-Term Function in Prostate Cancer

By Joe Elia

The long-term functional outcomes of localized prostate cancer are similar whether patients undergo prostatectomy or radiotherapy, although the 2- and 5-year outcomes vary, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study.

Researchers examined 15-year outcomes in some 1700 men diagnosed between the ages of 55 and 74 with clinically localized cancers. Patients were grouped by primary therapy, either prostatectomy or radiotherapy, regardless of their use of androgen deprivation.

Prostatectomy was associated with higher risk for urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, and lower risk for bowel urgency at the 2- and 5-year marks, than radiotherapy. However by 15 years, functions declined across both groups, and there were no significant differences in functional outcomes between them.

The authors conclude: "Considering the often long duration of survival after treatment for prostate cancer, these data may be used to counsel men considering treatment for localized disease."

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