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Prostate Cancer Treatment Regret is 52 Percent Higher in Men with Cardiovascular Disease

Update Date: Jul 02, 2012 10:49 AM EDT

Researchers studied almost 800 men with recurrent cancer and concluded that men with prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease were 52 per cent more likely to regret their treatment choices than men without problems with their heart or veins.

"Treatment regret can have an adverse impact on a patient's overall outlook and has been associated with a poorer global quality of life," said lead author Dr Paul L Nguyen from the Department of Radiation Oncology at Harvard's Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Understanding predictors of regret can help clinicians better counsel patients about their treatments so that later regret can be avoided."

Of the men studied, about 31 percent had issues such as heart attacks, heart failures, angina, diabetes and strokes. These men were about 67.6 years old and were less likely to have undergone therapy as their primary therapy. About half of these men reported regret and this was 52 per cent higher in men with cardiovascular problems than without.

"Most men with localised prostate cancer have multiple treatment options, each with their own set of potential risks and benefits" says Dr Nguyen. "While many patients are grateful for the chance to select their treatment, some may subsequently regret their treatment if the outcomes after therapy do not meet their expectations.

The researchers studied 410 men who had a prostatectomy (surgery), 237 who received external beam radiation therapy, and 124 who received brachytherapy (internal radiation) and 24 who received primary androgen deprivation (hormone) therapy. These men experienced recurrence at a median of 5.5 years.

The study also found:

  • Just under 15 per cent of the men Men with cardiovascular problems were more likely to experience bowel problems than those without cardiovascular issues (44 per cent versus 36 per cent) and urinary problems (46 per cent versus 39 per cent). Men who had bowel problems reported 58 per cent higher levels of regret.
  • Men diagnosed at a younger age were also more likely to regret their choice of treatment

"Researchers say the study highlights the growing importance of considering other health issues such as cardiovascular disease when counseling patients about prostate cancer treatment options. The findings also suggest that prostate cancer patients with cardiovascular issues should be alerted to the potential increased risk of post-treatment toxicity, such as bowel problems, as this may help to reduce treatment regret if their cancer returns."

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