Longer treatment is better than shorter term treatment when it comes to locally advanced prostate cancer, say results of a study that was published in yesterday’s issue of New England Journal of Medicine. This study backed up findings of a similar study published earlier this year. Locally advance prostate cancer is cancer where the tumor has grown (advanced) but is still contained within the prostate gland.
Researchers followed 970 patients with locally advanced prostated cancer who were given radiation treatment combined with drugs to suppress androgen hormones such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Half the group took the medications for 6 months while the other half continued for another 2 and a half years after.
In the group that took the medications for only 6 months, 47 men died of prostate cancer, but in the same period, only 28 died in the longer term treatment group.
There are still many questions regarding the treatment, including if the benefit lasts for longer. The treatment isn’t without side effects though - they include hot flashes, lower sex drive and reduced sexual activity.