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Radical Prostatectomy Can Deliver Positive Outcomes After Recurrences

For the 180,000 American men likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the coming year, treatment may or may not include surgery. In low-risk cases where chances of the cancer spreading are low and aggressiveness of the tumor is deemed low, as well, minimal treatments may be recommended. After all, prostate cancer treatments can introduce the possibility of potentially life-altering side effects like impotence and incontinence. Unsurprisingly, many men and their doctors choose treatment paths that mitigate side effect risks whenever possible. While often successful, that is simply not always so. In some cases, recurrence a few years down the road may become reality.

Researchers are finding that there is relatively good news for men who avoid complete removal of their prostate glands and then witness a return of their cancer. The long-term outcomes for salvage radical prostatectomies was deemed relatively high in a recent study. That study involved more than 250 men who witnessed recurrences and then underwent prostatectomies. The five-year survival cancer-specific survival rate was about 92 percent. Researchers noted, however, that complication rates were higher in the salvage treatment setting and functional outcomes did tend to be a little worse. Even so, the study offers hope for men who choose less aggressive paths for initial treatment and then see their cancer return.

Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should work closely with their healthcare providers to choose the right treatment path to pursue in their cases. Avoidance of aggressive procedures is often recommended when prostate cancer is deemed relatively low risk. There are times, however, when a prostatectomy along with other treatments may offer the best possible outcome chances.

Prostate cancer is a concern for all men as they age, which makes routine screening especially important starting in mid-life. Men are urged to talk to their healthcare providers about their risks and when early screening should begin based upon those risks.


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