A new Canadian study has concluded that men with organ-confined prostate cancer are more likely to survive if they have surgery rather than radiation therapy. The authors of the study analyzed data from 19 previous studies involving 119,000 men with localized cancer. Findings from fifteen (15) of the studies showed that those who received initial radiation therapy were twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as those who had surgery. Findings from ten (10) of the studies also showed that men who had radiation therapy were 50% more likely to die sooner of any cause, compared to those who had surgery. The results of the study analyses were published on Dec. 14th, 2015 in the journal European Urology.
The authors add however that “prostate cancer treatment is never a one-size-fits-all matter.” There are times when radiation therapy may be more appropriate than surgery so it is vitally important that a patient discusses treatment options with his physician. It is also noted that radiation is still possible as a secondary treatment after surgery. So patients have yet another way of combating their cancer if necessary. In addition, a radiation oncologist pointed out that this review may not have accounted for recent improvements in radiation therapy that could boost patient outcomes. For an additional reference, see the December 29th edition of Prostate Cancer News Today (linked).