Interactive program helps prostate cancer patients weigh treatment options

An online interactive program developed by Thomas Jefferson University researchers helps patients assess the pros and cons of different prostate cancer treatment options, according to an announcement from the university. When given choices, more patients choose action surveillance over therapy, according to research presented today at the Social for Medical Decision Making annual meeting in Baltimore. 

The findings jibe with a recent clinical study showing that mortality rates for early stage prostate cancer were the same for men who chose active surveillance--including periodic PSA testing and biopsy--over radiation or surgery. "The research suggested that in cases of low-risk prostate cancer, aggressive treatment may not offer a long term survival benefit, and yet is associated with a number of side effects such as urinary incontinence and sexual problems. However, the vast majority of men diagnosed with low-risk cancer undergo aggressive treatment rather than active surveillance," the announcement states. 

The online interactive program, called the Decision Counseling Program (DCP), helps patients clarify their treatment preferences. Announcement

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