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Surgery May Beat Radiotherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer

Analysis of 19 studies suggests surgery has an edge in survival

THURSDAY, Dec. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Men with localized prostate cancer are more likely to survive if they have surgery rather than radiation therapy, according to findings published online Dec. 14 in European Urology.

Robert Nam, M.D., of the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, and colleagues examined data from 19 studies that included a total of 118,830 men with localized prostate cancer.

Findings from 15 of the studies showed that those who received radiation therapy were twice as likely to die from prostate cancer as those who had surgery. Findings from 10 of the studies also showed that men who had radiation therapy were 50 percent more likely to die sooner of any cause, compared to those who had surgery.

“In the past, studies that have compared the success rates of surgery or radiation have been confusing because of their methods,” Nam said in a journal news release. “We have evaluated all the good-quality data comparing surgery and radiotherapy, and the results are pretty conclusive; in general, surgery results in better mortality rates than radiotherapy.” Nam believes that “the important thing about this research is that it gives physicians and patients additional information to consider when making the decision about how to treat localized prostate cancer.”

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