In the United States, according to recent estimations, nearly 3 million men have prostate cancer and approximately 233,000 patients are expected to be diagnosed in 2014. Prostate cancer accounts for 20% of all cancer survivors in the US, and although there are guidelines addressing prostate cancer screening and treatment, they still need to be structured to optimize the survivorship experience of patients who have been treated for this disease.
To address this issue, the American Society of Clinical Oncology recently protocoled guidelines to improve health and quality of life in prostate cancer survivors after treatment including features such as follow-up care, health promotion, surveillance, screening for new cancers, functional effects of the disease and its treatment, psychosocial concerns, and care management between the survivor’s primary care physician and prostate cancer specialists.
The review of the guidelines titled “Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care Guideline: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Endorsement,” were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
The research team reviewed the American Cancer Society (ACS) Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care Guidelines and determined that the 2014 ACS Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care Guidelines are clear, systematic, and appropriate, even if in certain situations there is a lack of high-quality substantiation to support some recommendations. Nevertheless, ASCO endorses ACS Prostate Cancer Survivorship Care Guidelines and suggest some modifications in their publication, including:
- Assess information needs related to prostate cancer, prostate cancer treatment, adverse effects, and other health concerns and provide or refer survivors to appropriate resources;
- Measure prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level every 6 to 12 months for the first 5 years and then annually, considering more frequent evaluation in men at high risk for recurrence and in candidates for salvage therapy.
- Refer survivors with elevated or increasing PSA levels back to their primary treating physician for evaluation and management.
- Adhere to ACS guidelines for early detection of cancer.
- Assess and manage physical and psychosocial effects of prostate cancer and its treatment.
- Annually assess for the presence of long-term or late effects of prostate cancer and its treatment.
These guidelines can ultimately enhance health and quality of life for post-treatment prostate cancer survivors.