According to world renowned prostate cancer surgeon, Dr. David B. Samadi of Lenox Hill Hospital, for definitive prostate cancer treatment, patients traditionally had two main treatment options: surgery or radiation. Based on a patient’s goals, disease state, and health, an appropriate treatment plan would be made.
New technology has enabled doctors to administer higher doses of radiation to prostate cancer patients with fewer side effects, making radiation a viable choice for many. But a new study shows that increasing the dose may not actually help a patient in the long term. Results from a study published online in the American Journal of Clinical Oncology, say that at least for patients with localized prostate cancer.
“In the past, it has been the thought that the highest dose radiation is most effective at killing cancer but the results of this study show that this may not be the case, especially with lower-risk prostate cancer patients,” says Dr. Samadi.
This study analyzed data from 12 randomized trials of external beam radiation treatment for men with non-metastatic prostate cancer. Researchers looked at long term outcomes such as the development of metastatic cancer and death from cancer, not just PSA levels. What they found was, while PSA levels decreased as patients received higher doses of radiation, the overall survival and incidence of metastases, among other measures, did not improve.
Over the past decade the marketplace has become flooded with new technologies for cancer treatment. Furthermore, patients are relying less on their physician to make the decision for them and are taking an active role. As newer therapies are introduced, patients are not always equipped to differentiate marketing from medical facts.
Dr. Samadi says, “Robotic surgery continues to prove a better treatment for cancer over radiation. Following diagnosis, patients are presented with a lot of information, in order to make sense of the different treatment options. This can make even the most educated patient uncertain. While the internet contains many valuable resources, advertisements are often cloaked as educational tools, and patients should be cautious. While it is important to be educated regarding your disease, going to a search engine is not always the best first step. Talking with your physician and asking for recommended resources is a safer way to start your education.”
Patients who are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer can contact world renowned prostate cancer surgeon and urologic oncologist, Dr. David Samadi, for a phone consultation. Call 212.365.5000 to set up your consultation with Dr. Samadi.