An estimated 200,000 men will be told that they have prostate cancer this year. About 30,000 men will die from the disease. While the vast majority of men will be diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease when treatment options are wide open, some will learn they have a higher risk form of prostate cancer. Researchers are finding that radiotherapy in newly diagnosed high-risk non-metastatic node-positive prostate cancer can greatly enhance treatments. In fact, recurrence rates drop dramatically when this treatment is added into the prescribed course of action.
To arrive at that conclusion, researchers used data collected from 721 different patients. The research showed that radiotherapy dramatically reduced relapse rates in men who underwent this additional step of treatment. For node-positive patients, in fact, the relapse rate was cut by 52 percent.
Radiotherapy involves the use of targeted beams of radiation that are used to kill cancer cells. In the case of prostate cancer, the beam is targeted in the pelvic area with the intent of killing cells in the tumor and preventing them from spreading.
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are likely to find the recommended treatments vary greatly based on the risk level of the cancer detected. For men whose cancer is found to be low risk, treatment may involve nothing more than watchful waiting. Men with higher risk prostate cancer may find that surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and sometimes hormone therapy are recommended.
Prostate cancer is a disease that can strike any man. With that in mind, those age 50 and older are urged to go in for routine prostate cancer screenings. Early detection of the disease can lead to highly successful treatments. Men who haven’t done so should speak with their healthcare providers about their personal risk factors for prostate cancer.