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For years, typical radiation treatment was the standard therapy for men who received lab test results indicating they have prostate cancer. Today, there are a number of new radiation-based options that claim to offer better results. However, a new study suggests that one of these treatments may not be worth the cost.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina examined the medical records of nearly 13,000 men who underwent treatment for prostate cancer between 2000 and 2008. The results showed that individuals who received new types of treatments, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy or proton therapy, experienced more complications than those undergoing standard radiation treatment.
Furthermore, the results suggested that recipients of newer therapies experienced more side effects.
The findings are important in assessing the relative benefit of new forms of radiation therapy. The emerging treatments cost significantly more than established ones. However, if they do not work as well, there is nothing to justify the extra expense.
The researchers stopped short of recommending against newer forms of radiation treatment, but did say that further research should be conducted.
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