Recent Studies On Radiation To Address Prostate Cancer Patients Raise Discussion Among Physicians

Recent Studies On Radiation To Address Prostate Cancer Patients Raise Discussion Among Physicians
shutterstock_249483445Two recent studies from the University of Virginia School of Medicine concluded that radiation treatment should be delayed for as long as possible after prostate removal in cancer patients to prevent unwanted side effects. Timothy Showalter, a radiation oncologist from the UVA Cancer Center, said in a press release: “The common teaching has been, without clear evidence, that urinary incontinence and erectile function are worse when radiation is delivered earlier rather than later, but we didn’t see any protective effect of delayed radiation compared to earlier radiation. It contradicts the clinical principle of delaying radiation as long as possible for the sake of the patient’s side effects. It really speaks against that, and that ought not to be used for a reason to delay radiation.” The outcomes raised discussion about the preferences on the use of adjuvant therapy — in which radiation is given soon after the prostate is removed to kill any of the remaining cancer cells — and salvage therapy, where radiation is given later. “Urologists tend to prefer to forgo adjuvant radiation therapy, because they fear the side effects, and radiation oncologists tend t
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Isaura Santos graduated with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a MA in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies from University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Her professional interests include science communication, public awareness of science and communication of science through entertainment.

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