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Health Watch: Increase in Men Seeking Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatments

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University of Michigan researchers studied advanced prostate cancer treatment options among nearly fifty thousand men, over age 65, over a five–year period.

They found the number of men with low–risk disease, but opting for advanced treatment technologies increased from 32 percent in 2004 to 44 percent in 2009

Researchers say the findings are significant because this patient population is unlikely to benefit from these treatments, let–alone the costs.

Doctors say the side effects are also a concern patients should think about.

"Don't underestimate the side–effects of therapy because in many cases," says Dr. Andrew Stephenson at the Cleveland Clinic. "Though the treatments are often successful, there are important side–effects that many men experience with respect to their urinary, bowel, and sexual function, which unfortunately they may have to live with for the rest of their lives."

Complete findings for this study are in the Journal of the American Medical Association.