Educating patients about myths surrounding prostate cancer

There are many rumors about prostate cancer and its treatments, which prevent patients and their families from feeling confident about their treatment options and often causes unnecessary fear.

Chicago Prostate Cancer Center believes educating patients and their loved ones empowers them to make the best decisions for their health. We work hard to dispel myths surrounding prostate cancer and its treatments so patients can concentrate on the only thing that really matters – their health.

Some of the most common questions and incorrect information our patients ask for clarification about is the area of surgery vs. brachytherapy. Many falsely believe if a man is ‘young’ (under age 62), he should have surgery because ‘he will do better’.

Published data, however, demonstrates brachytherapy is an excellent and equal treatment option for younger patients. There is no scientific data to suggest younger patients have better cure rates with surgery. This has long been a misconception on the part of not only patients, but also physicians! In fact, there are numerous studies that show that there are no differences in cure rates with young patients (age 62 or less) versus older patients (references 1,2, and 4). All treatment options should be offered to patients. A recent study concluded that of patients with prostate cancer treated with a monotherapeutic approach, better urinary continence was exhibited in those who underwent radiation-based therapies. Furthermore, higher sexual function scores were seen in men who selected brachytherapy (reference 3).

For more information on this myth and more, visit our website here. We also release a new myth and answer every Monday on our Facebook and Twitter.

1. Ho, AY et al. Young Men have Equivalent Biochemical Outcomes Compared to Older Men After Treatment With Prostate brachytherapy Volume 69, Issue 3, Supplement, Pages S90-S91 (1 November 2007)
2. Merrick, GS et al. brachytherapy in men age less than or equal to 54 years with clinically localized prostate cancer. BJU Int’l (98), 324-328, 2006.
3. Frank SJ, et al. An assessment of quality of life following radical prostatectomy, high dose external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy iodine implantation as monotherapies for localized prostate cancer. J Urol, Jun 177(6), 2151-6, 2007.
4. Sharkey J, et al. 103Pd brachytherapy versus radical prostatectomy in patients with clinically localized prostate cancer: a 12-year experience from a single group practice. brachytherapy, 4(1): 34-44, 2005.

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