22
Mar

Patients’ reports may aid prostate cancer treatment choice

Men with early-stage prostate cancer face a dizzying quandary over which treatment to choose but two new studies on side effects may make those decisions a bit easier.

The research bolsters evidence that sexual problems and urinary incontinence are more common after surgery than after radiation or “watchful waiting” without treatment. But it also shows differences in quality of life tend to wane with time for those with prostate cancer that hasn’t spread — the type that affects most men with the disease.

Given earlier research showing comparable survival rates, the results also support observation as a reasonable option for men with early disease, especially those with less aggressive tumors, said Dr. Daniel Barocas of Vanderbilt University, leader of one of the studies. Still, he noted, men who choose observation could have problems related to enlarged prostates including frequent urination that those who have surgery don’t face.

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