The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently supported recommendations from the American Urological Association (AUA) and the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) for radiation therapy after prostatectomy, which is the removal of the prostate. ASCO provides these types of recommendations, or endorses recommendations, to help doctors and patients make treatment decisions based on the best available evidence.
Prostatectomy is a common treatment for prostate cancer. Sometimes, not all of the cancer is removed during surgery and the cancer may come back. This recommendation gives guidance on who might need additional treatment in the form of radiation therapy after surgery and why.
Dr. Howard Sandler from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, explains this guideline, which answers the question, “when and how should radiation therapy be used after a prostatectomy?” Because the risk of continued cancer growth or recurrence is different for each man, men with prostate cancer should discuss this subject with their doctor.
If you want to talk with your health care team about radiation therapy after a prostatectomy, Dr. Sandler offers these questions to get you started. They might be good to write down beforehand and if you think of other questions that are important to you, add them to the list.
- Why are you considering radiation therapy as part of my treatment plan?
- How many treatments will I be receiving?
- What are the potential side effects of this treatment?
- What are the chances that the treatment is going to be effective?
- Are there any restrictions on my activities while I undergo radiation treatment?