A recent study looked at the effectiveness of salvage prostatectomies following radiation and turned up promising results.
Prostate removal is one of many treatment options available for prostate cancer. This invasive
procedure is generally reserved for when cancer is deemed highly aggressive or poses a high risk of
becoming so. Some men and their doctors may also opt for this treatment route simply to ensure cancer
cells are removed from the body.
Although a relatively normal part of prostate cancer treatment, the nature of findings related to
prostate removal procedures is beginning to change. Researchers say the rate of unfavorable pathology
found after prostatectomy is increasing, but the reasons aren’t entirely clear.
Rate of higher risk cancers being found following prostatectomy make, however, be associated with
several different factors, researchers say. They include:
A lack of screening – With recent changes in the routine recommendations for prostate cancer
some men may not be going in for routine screening. And, even if they do, they may not be
receiving the prostate specific antigen test that could serve as a bellwether for the presence of
cancer. This, in turn, could be resulting in high risk cases going to surgery following later-stage
More use of active surveillance – This treatment option involves simply monitoring lower risk
prostate cancers before taking any invasive actions, including radiation therapy and surgery.
More use of surgery in high risk cases –It Is also possible that more men and doctors are opting
for surgery instead of just radiation alone in high-risk cases.
Researchers believe the findings are very likely prompted by a combination of the three factors.
Prostate cancer strikes an estimated 180,000 American men each year. There is a diversity of treatments
that have proven successful in combating prostate cancer. The best recommendation will depend on a
man’s unique case and the risk level the disease poses. Men are urged to discuss all treatment options
with their healthcare providers to gain an understanding of the potential risks and rewards of each.