Robot or radiation? Factors influencing treatment decisions for localised prostate cancer
A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be a worrying time for patients and their families, and making treatment choices can be daunting. Men who have cancer confined to their prostate (called ‘localised’ prostate cancer) can usually choose between surgery to remove the prostate or radiotherapy treatment of the prostate.
A small study set at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney aimed to understand how men come to decisions over their treatment, what they understand about the treatments offered, and what their preferences are for receiving information. Published in the journalthe study included 25 men with localised prostate cancer who received information from a surgical specialist (Urologist) and a radiotherapy specialist (Radiation Oncologist) before choosing their treatment pathway.
The study found that it is important that men are fully informed of their treatment options, including any side-effects by seeing both a Urologist and a Radiation Oncologist, early on in the decision-making process. The authors called for improved education to ensure men are fully aware of the likely outcomes of the treatments and the side-effects. Given men had differing preferences about how they received information, a tailored approach for supporting decision-making is required for each patient.