What influences men’s decision making for treatment of localised prostate cancer?

3 min

Prostate cancer is the top diagnosed cancer in men over the age of 50 but has a very good survival rate. A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be a worrying and emotional experience, and making treatment choices can be daunting.

It is important to understand how men make treatment decisions, what they understand about the treatments offered, and what their preferences are for receiving information, so that doctors can best support men in making informed treatment decisions.

Treatment options for localised prostate cancer include active surveillance (monitoring of low-risk cancer), surgery to remove the prostate (open or robotic prostatectomy), or radiotherapy.

Studies show that these treatments all give the same likelihood of survival. However, surgery and radiotherapy can come with specific side effects that may influence decisions when choosing a treatment.

The Prostatectomy versus Radiotherapy for Early-stage Prostate Cancer (PREPaRE) study1, set at the Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, NSW, aimed to understand how men choose treatments for prostate cancer.

After receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer, men enrolled in the study attended a ‘combined clinic’ where they received information about surgery or radiotherapy treatment options from doctors specialising in those areas (a urologist and a radiation oncologist).

The study recruited 25 men with localised prostate cancer who completed surveys and took part in interviews to share their experiences on how they reached treatment decisions.

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