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Medicineworld.org: Why Men With Prostate Cancer Avoid Radiation?

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Why Men With Prostate Cancer Avoid Radiation?

Why Men With Prostate Cancer Avoid Radiation?
Negative perceptions about radiation treatment can strongly influence a prostate cancer patient's choice to avoid external beam radiation treatment, even though studies have proven the therapy to be as safe and effective as other therapys for the disease, including surgery, as per a research studypresented November 5, 2006, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 48th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

"The study shows that patients base their therapy choice not only on technical information, but also on cultural and personal prejudices," said Riccardo Valdagni, M.D., an author of the study and head of the Prostate Programme at the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, Italy. "It's important for patients to express their fears about radiation therapy to their doctors and for doctors to consider these worries and address any misconceptions about this treatment so that patients can make the best, most informed decision about their therapy".

Men with prostate cancer often choose between external beam radiation treatment, radiation seed implants and surgery to treat their cancer. During external beam radiation, a beam of radiation, or X-ray, is directed through the skin to the cancer and the immediate surrounding area to kill the cancer. To minimize side effects, radiation is given five days a week for several weeks. A number of men with prostate cancer choose external beam radiation over other therapys because it is non-invasive, has a short recovery period and often helps men preserve their sexual and urinary function.

However, Dr. Valdagni's study shows that some men with prostate cancer have definite fears about radiation therapy, with the greatest worries correlation to false beliefs on how the X-rays would affect them. For example, some patients believe that radiation cannot be controlled because it is invisible, that it will harm surrounding unprotected organs and that it is dangerous for family members to physically be near them when undergoing radiation therapy. Patients also said that the terminology used in radiation treatment, such as the term "hitting the target," evoked feelings more correlation to war than to a cure. In addition, while some patients experienced technology as reassuring, a number of others felt that the technologically advanced computer equipment used during radiation therapy provoked anxiety.

The study was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of doctors (urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and psychology experts) at the Milan National Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program from March 2005 to March 2006. The team interviewed 257 men with prostate cancer to find out their perceptions about radiation treatment.


Posted by: Mark    Source




Did you know?
Negative perceptions about radiation treatment can strongly influence a prostate cancer patient's choice to avoid external beam radiation treatment, even though studies have proven the therapy to be as safe and effective as other therapys for the disease, including surgery, as per a research studypresented November 5, 2006, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 48th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Medicineworld.org: Why Men With Prostate Cancer Avoid Radiation?

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