From the August 1, 2002 issue of the Journal of Clinical OncologyMen with prostate cancer generally have several treatment options. Many men initially undergo surgery to try to cure the cancer before it has spread outside of the prostate. Patients may also receive external beam radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy to control the cancer or lower their risk of cancer recurrence, or receive no treatment at all. These treatments can cause side effects that may affect a man's quality of life, including fatigue, sexual complications, and insomnia.In an effort to help prostate cancer patients choose the best treatment option and help doctors determine patients' risk of disease recurrence, researchers have developed a new computer program called a nomogram.According to Dr. Michael Kattan at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, this new computer program improves the ability to predict which patients will not have a recurrence of prostate cancer for five years.In a study of more than 6,000 prostate cancer patients from around the world who had surgery to remove their prostate, the nomogram was able to accurately predict patients' risk of cancer recurrence 75% of the time. Dr. Kattan urges prostate cancer patients to ask their doctor about nomogram predictions. By utilizing this tool, patients will be able to more accurately predict whether their prostate cancer will return and will be better equipped to decide which treatment option is best for them.