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Newer Prostate Cancer Treatment Similar to Traditional Surgery
Date:5/9/2008

But researchers found patients wanted minimally invasive procedure more often, despite drawbacks

FRIDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical practice may be trumping science when it comes to treatments for prostate cancer.

According to a new study, many patients are getting a newer, minimally invasive surgery, because they think it is better than conventional surgery, even though there is little data on actual differences in outcomes between the two.

"Patients are choosing and/or being directed towards treatments without fully understanding how much experience there is with the treatment in general, how much experience their particular physician might have doing a particular treatment, and how that compares to other options out there," said Dr. Ronald D. Ennis, director of radiation oncology at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, Continuum Cancer Centers of New York.

The study, appearing in the May 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that minimally invasive radical prostatectomy (MIRP) tended to involve fewer complications and shorter hospital stays but a higher risk of needing additional treatment and of experiencing incontinence.

The risks, however, tended to decrease the more experience a surgeon had under his or her belt.

"This reaffirms what many other manuscripts have shown, if you go to an individual who has experience, who does this on a consistent basis, your outcomes will be better," said Dr. Ihor S. Sawczuk, chief of urologic oncology for the Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, in New Jersey. "If you go to someone who does 20 to 50 procedures a year, that's better than somebody who only does two to three a year."

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer, the second leading cancer killer in males, are presented with a maze of treatment options.

Radical prostatectomy, which is surgery to remove the prostate and some surrounding tissue, i
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