Active Surveillance or Another Prostate Cancer Treatment? Choices Linked to Quality of Life

Active Surveillance or Another Prostate Cancer Treatment? Choices Linked to Quality of Life
Active surveillance of low-risk prostate cancer is as good as treating it in many cases, and spares patients such distressing treatment side effects as sexual-functioning problems, according to a study on the quality of life impact of various treatments. Surgery, although performed with robotic techniques designed to limit prostate damage, is associated with sexual side effects and urinary leaks, the study found. Other treatments were linked to different kinds of complications. The study, “Association Between Choice of Radical Prostatectomy, External Beam Radiotherapy, Brachytherapy, or Active Surveillance and Patient-Reported Quality of Life Among Men With Localized Prostate Cancer,” was published in the journal JAMA. "With all of the modern treatment options, patients should have accurate and realistic expectations about the frequency of side effects from treatment," Ronald C. Chen, MD, MPH, the first author of the study, said in a press release. "We found that the different treatment options have trade-offs in side effects. Each patient can look at these data to see what they care about most," added Chen, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Most prostate cancer patients are diagnosed at early stages of the disease. Increasingly, studies are finding that active surveillance is
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