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Radiation Seed Treatment Helps Younger Men Fight Prostate Cancer

Technique just as effective in patients under 60, study finds

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation seed implants, known as brachytherapy, are just as effective for treating prostate cancer in men 60 and younger as they are for older men, a new study finds.

Brachytherapy is a minimally invasive procedure in which small radioactive seeds are placed in the prostate to kill cancer cells. Recovery time after seed implantation is much shorter than surgery, and studies have found brachytherapy to be as effective as surgery.

However, men 60 and younger are often advised to have surgery to remove part or all of the prostate, because many surgeons believe it's more effective long-term, according to background information in a news release about the study.

In this study, researchers analyzed the outcomes of more than 1,700 men with localized prostate cancer treated with brachytherapy at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York between 1990 and 2005.

They found that men 60 and younger had the same outcomes as older men.

"These results suggest that brachytherapy is extremely effective in curing localized prostate cancer for men aged 60 and younger," lead author Dr. Alice Ho, a radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said in a prepared statement.

"When younger men are diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, they should be presented with all viable treatment options, including brachytherapy. Every man with prostate cancer, regardless of his age, should have access to the treatment that is best for his cancer and lifestyle," Ho said.

The findings were expected to be presented Wednesday at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology annual meeting, in Los Angeles.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines prostate cancer treatment options.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, news release, Oct.31, 2007

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