Radiation Therapy Can Enhance Prognosis of Prostate Cancer Patients

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Prostate cancer still remains as the most common malignancy affecting the male population aside from lung cancer. Although it is curable especially when diagnosed at an earlier stage, many individuals continuously die because of complications such as spread of cancer cells to the different body organs. The challenge to the medical health professional is to provide a more wide range treatment in order to improve the treatment outcomes of prostate cancer and help save lives. One solution seen by doctors is the supplementation of radiation therapy treatment aside from hormonal treatment administered to the patients, according to a study.

Various treatment modalities nowadays are available to kill cancer cells and help preserve life. These treatments are aggressive enough to combat the rapid growth of cancer cells which feeds on the nutrients of the body. Some of these treatments include: surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy is done through the use of ionizing radiation which is targeted directly towards the cancer cells. It has the ability to control the growth of cancer cells by damaging the DNA of the exposed tissues. Recently, scientists claimed that the use of radiation therapy in addition with other treatment modalities such as hormone therapy can improve the survivability rate of patients with prostate cancer, and according to them, if this practice is made standard, it will help save more life.

The new study which was published in the Lancet medical journal involves the analysis and examination of data gathered from more than 1,200 men mostly residing Britain and Canada who were diagnosed of having advanced prostate cancer which means that the disease already goes out of the boundary of the prostate gland, however, not enough to spread to other body organs. The study was conducted between 1995 and 2005.

The researchers divide the study participants into two (2) groups. The first male group which is about half of the overall study participants were treated with the standard form of treatment called hormone therapy which is medically know as androgen deprivation therapy. On the other hand, the other half were given with the same course of treatment, but with addition of radiation therapy.

The researchers found out in general, that about 74 per cent of the male group treated with hormone therapy plus the supplementation of radiation therapy was still alive after years of treatment. That is compared to the 66 per cent of the other half of the study participants which were treated with hormone therapy alone and remain alive after years of treatment.

Moreover, the results of the study showed that the supplementation of radiation therapy is worthwhile and recommendations for standardization of treatments are now on the process.

In the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results research data conducted by the National Cancer Institute, it was estimated that It is estimated that 240,890 men will be diagnosed with and 33,720 men will die of cancer of the prostate in 2011. Also, From 2004-2008, the median age at diagnosis for cancer of the prostate was 67 years of age.




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