Prostate cancer treatments can be worse than illness, Vanderbilt study finds

Prostate cancer treatments can be worse than illness, Vanderbilt study finds

January 31st, 2013 by The Tennessean in Local - Breaking News

Dr. David Penson

Photo by The Tennessean /Times Free Press.

Living with prostate cancer may be better than trying to fight it.

New research by Vanderbilt University reveals that men experience widespread complications after undergoing either surgery or radiation therapy. Most men are rendered impotent within two years regardless of which procedure they choose, and more than a third who opt for radiation have problems controlling bowel movements, according to the research published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

"The reality of it is both of these treatments cause a whole heck of a lot of side effects," said Dr. David Penson, senior author of the article.

But not all prostate cancer patients require such aggressive intervention, Penson said, noting that a third or more have slow-growing tumors that can be closely monitored.

Read more at The Tennessean.