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Multi-Step Treatment May Assist Lymph Node Positive Prostate Cancer Patients

It is estimated that 180,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the coming year. While many of these men will also learn their form of the disease is considered low risk and relatively simple to treat, that is not always the case. For men whose prostate cancer also shows signs of lymph node involvement, a more arduous treatment path may lie ahead. New research is showing that a specific three-prong approach may improve outcomes in these cases.

The treatment in question involves a radical prostatectomy as its first step. This common prostate cancer treatment calls for the complete removal of the prostate gland itself to eradicate the primary tumor source. Once that is completed, researchers say following up with radiation and androgen deprivation therapy may improve the survival rates for men with lymph node positive prostate cancer.

To arrive at those findings, researchers conducted a retrospective study involving more than 2,500 patients. These men all underwent surgery followed by androgen deprivation therapy. About 35 percent also underwent radiotherapy. The study showed that patients who received radiation were more likely to survive to the five-year mark. The figure was about 87 percent of the patients versus 82 percent of those who only underwent surgery and androgen deprivation therapy.

Prostate cancer is considered a highly treatable form of this disease in most cases. When more aggressive cancer is present, however, or the disease has spread, outcomes are not always positive. The study shows that adding in radiation for men with lymph node involvement may increase survival rates.

Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. Every treatment does have its potential share of benefits and risks. The best recommendation for treatment in a man’s individual case will come from healthcare providers who have case-specific knowledge.

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