UCLA Study Points to Need for Informed Decision-Making in Prostate Cancer

The study evaluated SEER data of over 37,000 prostate cancer patients and found an overwhelming majority of patients (58%) received radiation treatment regardless of overall disease prognosis. The lead study author hopes these findings enlighten the public and allow physicians to make an informed decision when it comes to the best treatment option for men who may or may not benefit from radiation therapy in the long run.

LA researchers have found that radiation therapy is the most common treatment for men with prostate cancer regardless of the aggressiveness of the tumor, risk to the patient and overall patient prognosis. These findings lay the groundwork for improved treatment assessment by physicians and to better inform men fighting the disease.

Led by UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member Dr. Karim Chamie, the observational study analyzed the claims data of over 37,000 patients over a three-year period (2004 to 2007), provided by the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The research was conducted at UCLA and Chamie's team found that radiation therapy was the most common treatment at 58%, followed by radical prostatectomy (a surgical procedure to remove the prostate) at 19%. Other treatments trailed at 10%, including watchful waiting (where doctors wait and see if cancer progresses before treating it) and active surveillance (when patients undergo routine biopsies, blood tests and MRI to determine if cancer is progressing and undergo active treatment).

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