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Treatment decision regret after radical prostatectomy

Posted Feb 22 2011 12:00am

Prior studies have looked at the question of patient regret after election of specific types of treatment for localized prostate cancer. Unsurprisingly, this effect is not confined to patients in the USA, and a new study from Taiwan indicates that patient regret may be as high as 31 percent after radical prostatectomy (RP).

Issues such as physical and psychological distress impact the quality of life of patients after a radical prostatectomy (RP). It is important to understand the regret that patients often report following a prostatectomy and the factors that influence their regret.

The objective of this study was to understand the regret that patients report following a RP and the influencing factors for their regret.

Lin recruited 100 men who had had a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer and who underwent an RP between 2004 and 2010. were recruited for this study. Data gathered from these patients were designed to explore what percentage of these patients felt regret about selecting RP as their form of treatment, relevant demographic and disease-related information, and the factors that influenced patient regret.

The results demonstrated that:

  • 31 percent of participants regretted that they had received an RP.
  • Five variables were predictors of patient regret after an RP:

Although there have been significant improvements over the years in the quality of the information provided to patients about the real pros and cons of each possible treatment for localized prostate cancer, it is clear that physicians still have a tendency to “oversell the benefits” of the treatment they personally offer and to “undersell the risks.”

It can be very hard for patients to express their concerns to a surgeon or a radiotherapist, and The”New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink has often felt that new patients would be wise to separate their “information gathering” activities from their “decision” activities. The latter might be better carried out in discussion with cancer nursing personnel who have no individual interest in the type of therapy selected by the patient and who can make sure that patients really do understand the full list of potentially significant side effects associated with each type of therapy. This guidance is not limited to the election of RP as a type of treatment. Rather it is applicable regardless of the form of management being considered by the patient, because all forms of management come with downsides as well as upsides even active surveillance.

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