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Rheta Mankin | Lewisvilleflower

Use of Radiotherapy After Prostate Cancer Surgery Declines

Jun 2nd 2015 at 4:31 AM

Despite its ability to lower recurrence chances, researchers are finding that used of post-prostate-cancer surgery radiotherapy is on the decline in the United States. The trend is raising alarm bells among practitioners who want to ensure those who are at higher risk for recurrence understand why post-surgical treatment can prove highly beneficial.

Evidence of a decline in application of post-surgical radiation was published in the journal European Urology. The study found that in the United States, fewer than 10 percent of patients at risk for recurrence received radiotherapy within the first six months following radical prostatectomy. Other studies have found that while this surgical procedure can successfully remove localized prostate cancer, about 30 percent of patients will, in fact, develop a biochemical-based recurrence. An estimated 60 to 70 percent of patients with more aggressive forms of the disease may experience biochemical recurrence.

Post-surgical radiation performed within close proximity to prostate cancer surgery can help reduce recurrence chances rather dramatically. This type of procedure generally involves the use of external beam radiation that is highly targeted to protect nearby healthy tissue. The procedure is performed in conjunction with surgery to ensure that any missed cancer cells are effectively killed off to prevent recurrence and spread of the disease.

Although its use has been shown to be effective, researchers have found a steady trend in those opting against radiation. The use of radiotherapy, in fact, declined from 9.1 percent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2011, researchers found. The reasons for the drop are thought to include patient preference, referral bias and a concern about side effects, among others.

Men who are undergoing prostate cancer treatment are urged to carefully discuss their treatment options with their physicians. Radiotherapy in the post-surgical days can help reduce recurrence chances while ensuring a first-round of treatments is effective. The best advice in a particular case will come from the treating physician, but it is important for men to gain all the facts about radiotherapy so they can make informed decisions about their care.

About Lewisville Flower Mound Oncology

As a division of Choice Cancer Care, the Lewisville Flower Mound Oncology group has a patient-first philosophy. This is meant to help patients maintain a positive outlook while they undergo cutting-edge treatments to battle cancer. Our certified medical oncology and haematology physicians Dr. James Mackey and Dr. Kiran Kancharla along with our experienced and trained medical staff offer patients access to top-notch oncology care for breast, colon and other cancers in a comfortable environment with free and convenient parking. For more information you can visit

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