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Following a PSA test that indicates a high likelihood of prostate cancer, men have many difficult decisions about how to proceed with their treatment. More aggressive strategies can ensure that the tumor is removed, but increase the risk of complications, while less invasive therapies are unlikely to cause side effects but may allow the cancer to spread.
A new study may help make the decision a little easier, at least for older men. A team of researchers showed that individuals over the age of 75 who opt to undergo radical prostatectomy are much more likely to experience surgery-related complications.
After reviewing the medical records of more than 115,000 individuals being treated for prostate cancer, the researchers found that seniors who go through surgery are more likely to require a blood transfusion and experience complications as a direct result of the procedure. Additionally, they had a significantly higher mortality rate.
One explanation for the high rate of complications is that the results showed that older men are more likely to be treated at smaller, non-academic facilities. Numerous studies have shown that these locations tend to have poorer treatment outcomes.
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