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Prostate size and other neglected factors influence prostate cancer treatment satisfaction
Date:3/19/2008

BOSTON Men with prostate cancer and their partners face difficult decisions regarding treatment, and accurate information regarding expected outcomes can be hard to find, according to results of a multi-center study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Outcomes after prostate surgery, external radiation or brachytherapy (radioactive seeds) are highly individualized and depend not only on age, but also on factors that have been previously overlooked, such as the size of the prostate and whether a man has urinary symptoms due to prostate enlargement before treatment.

Previous studies focused mostly on problems with sexuality, bowel problems and problems with urinary incontinence after prostate cancer treatment, which the study confirmed as important concerns.

But the research team from nine hospitals, led by Martin G. Sanda, MD, Director of the Prostate Care Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, found that other symptoms, such as frequent or weak urination, are equally as important in determining overall patient satisfaction.

While many patients and doctors have assumed that prostate cancer treatment only causes side effects and does not reduce symptoms, the study found that some men with larger prostates benefit with improved urination after surgery. However, the study of 1,201 men and 625 spouses also found that overall satisfaction with treatment was lower among African-American men, despite their having received care at the same centers as their white counterparts.

The study examined the impact of the various forms of treatment on many facets of quality of life, including not only sexual function, bowel function and urinary incontinence but also on concerns that are common yet have been previously neglected by researchers, including weak or frequent urination due to prostate enlargement as well as a mans vitality or h
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Contact: Jerry Berger
jberger@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7308
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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