With prostate cancer estimated to affect as many as 1 in 6 men, any new research developments that may affect treatment are extremely noteworthy. Because the risks of having prostate cancer increase dramatically with age, every generation is in a race against the clock to find the most effective treatment methods, or prevention methods, possible.
Recently a medical study on men with prostate cancer introduced very interesting news that contradicted some previously held beliefs in the medical community. Some physicians have withheld potentially curative treatment in older men because of a concern about side effects of radiation or surgery. Other physicians have used hormone therapy as a means of delaying cancer progression instead of offering potentially curative treatment.
This new study by Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, however, suggests that drug treatment alone does not improve survival rates of men taking it, and might actually be hindering their improvement. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July.
The prostate cancer information generated by this article studied about 20,000 men, including Medicare patients, whose prostate cancer had not spread to other areas of the body. The study took 6 years to complete, as information was gathered and the men were studied. All study participants were over the age of 66, which means that the data drawn from the study is particularly relevant to older men, but not necessarily accurate for younger men. Average age of a study participant was 77.
Researchers found that the typical treatment of testosterone-blocking drugs might have more drawbacks than benefits. The testosterone-blockers are meant to keep cancer cells from growing, but also have side effects such as bone loss, impotence, and increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. Ultimately, a treatment plan of the testosterone-blocking drugs alone, in older men, didn’t appear to be effective.
For men considering Georgia prostate cancer surgery, this study does not influence the need for curative surgery or radiation. Often the antihormone drugs can be very effective when they are paired with surgery or radiation. To maximize the effectiveness of a cancer treatment plan for Georgia men, prostate cancer might require surgery or radiation, rather than drug treatment alone.
Researchers theorized that many men felt they were improving their health by taking the drugs without surgery or radiation, because it was a better course of action than doing nothing. Now that their research has shown this to be an ineffective method of treatment by itself, the researchers hope that doctors will avoid the drug treatments except in combination with radiation and/or surgery.
For older men looking for information about Georgia prostate cancer treatment, the study offers an important topic to bring up with their doctors. While surgery and radiation can seem scary, the solution to prostate cancer doesn’t appear to be as easy as popping a pill or receiving an injection, at least for older men. For Georgia men, prostate cancer treatment might require surgery, rather than the simpler approach of a drug treatment.
With the continued research and studies being done, advances in Georgia prostate cancer treatment are continually being made. At this point in time, however, drug treatment alone doesn’t seem to be an effective method in the fight against prostate cancer.