A new, long-term study has information about the side effects associated with prostate cancer treatment. It also provides answers for men wondering what life will be like after the cancer is gone.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University studied 1,600 prostate cancer patients who either had surgery, or underwent radiation. They found some side effects were more common in the short-term after each procedure, but after fifteen years the differences in either treatment were less pronounced.
Doctors say some patients were able to avoid any side effects just by taking a watchful waiting approach to their disease. Researcher Dr. David Penson said, "So if you have a low risk cancer, these data should make you say to your doctor, do I really need to be treated? Some men are going to need to be treated, but some men may be able to survive their cancer and avoid the side effects of treatment."
The Vanderbilt study also found that doctors say about a third of men with prostate cancer are over-diagnosed and don't need to be treated right away. The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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