For many cancer patients, surviving 10 years past cancer treatment is a cause for celebration, as they can be declared cancer-free. Yet prostate cancer is one form of cancer that has a higher risk of late recurrence or a recurrence occurring 10 to 15 years after a perceived successful treatment. Because of this risk of late recurrence, the American Urological Association recommends a 15-year follow-up after prostate cancer treatment.
Research presented at the 2014 meeting of the American Urological Association pointed to the need for this follow-up treatment. Researchers, led by Frank Critz, MD, of Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia, attempted to determine how long treatment follow-up should occur. They found that a minimum of 15 years wasnecessary.
The treatment followed 2,808 prostate cancer patients from 1984 to 2002. The men were treated by radiotherapy and were declared disease free at their 10-year follow up. Of these men, 48 ended up with a late recurrence of the disease. The median time frame for the late recurrence was 12 years after treatment. The men had a medium time from the follow up to the recurrence of three years.
In addition, four of the patients had a PSA of less than 0.2 ng/ml at their 15-year follow-up, but went on to have their disease recur some 15-20 years after treatment. One of the men died after 25 years because of metastatic prostate cancer. The total recurrence rate was 3 percent at 15 years and 5 percent at 20 years. None of the patients had recurrence at 10 years, which is a common time span for being considered “cured”.
To learn more about prostate cancer and the best treatment options available, visit Dr. Bert Vorstman at http://www.urologyweb.com/exclusive-medical-reports/ Dr. Vorstman also blogs at http://www.urologyweb.com/uro-health-blog/
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