Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 21 Nov 2018 Online tool can help ...

Online tool can help men make prostate cancer treatment choices

REUTERS
Published Nov 21, 2018, 9:41 am IST
Updated Nov 21, 2018, 9:41 am IST
Early-stage prostate cancer may not need treatment right away
Online tool can help men make prostate cancer treatment choices. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Online tool can help men make prostate cancer treatment choices. (Photo: Pixabay)

A web-based tool can let a man with prostate cancer see how thousands of other men in his situation have chosen to be treated, which may help him better understand his own options, a U.S. study suggests.

Early-stage prostate cancer may not need treatment right away, or ever, because these tumors often don’t grow fast enough to cause symptoms. Because treatment can have side effects like impotence and incontinence, doctors sometimes advise men to put off surgery or radiation and instead get regular screenings to reassess whether the cancer warrants intervention.

 

“There is often no one correct treatment option because the choice of prostate cancer treatment depends on personal preferences around treatment benefits and risks,” said senior author Dr. Karandeep Singh of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“There are already a number of great resources available to the prostate cancer patient community to support this shared decision-making process,” Singh said by email. “However, there are no tools that help patients discover what treatments similar men chose when faced with a similar decision.”

Singh and colleagues set out to develop a tool that fit the bill. They used data on treatment choices made by 5,016 men diagnosed with prostate cancer to develop a web-based tool that predicts the most likely treatment choice based on what other men in similar circumstances have chosen.

Then, they asked another 2,527 men with prostate cancer to try out the tool and see how often the program predicted the treatment choice these men would pick for themselves. The tool, it turned out, was highly accurate.

“This tool is not meant to replace the shared decision-making process but rather to augment that process by helping patients focus their preparation on likely treatment options prior to meeting with their urologist,” Singh said.

It’s only meant for men with early-stage tumors that haven’t spread to other parts of the body. It won’t predict treatment decisions for men with more complex cases.

A web-based tool can let a man with prostate cancer see how thousands of other men in his situation have chosen to be treated, which may help him better understand his own options, a U.S. study suggests.

Early-stage prostate cancer may not need treatment right away, or ever, because these tumors often don’t grow fast enough to cause symptoms. Because treatment can have side effects like impotence and incontinence, doctors sometimes advise men to put off surgery or radiation and instead get regular screenings to reassess whether the cancer warrants intervention.

“There is often no one correct treatment option because the choice of prostate cancer treatment depends on personal preferences around treatment benefits and risks,” said senior author Dr. Karandeep Singh of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“There are already a number of great resources available to the prostate cancer patient community to support this shared decision-making process,” Singh said by email. “However, there are no tools that help patients discover what treatments similar men chose when faced with a similar decision.”

Singh and colleagues set out to develop a tool that fit the bill. They used data on treatment choices made by 5,016 men diagnosed with prostate cancer to develop a web-based tool that predicts the most likely treatment choice based on what other men in similar circumstances have chosen.

Then, they asked another 2,527 men with prostate cancer to try out the tool and see how often the program predicted the treatment choice these men would pick for themselves. The tool, it turned out, was highly accurate.

“This tool is not meant to replace the shared decision-making process but rather to augment that process by helping patients focus their preparation on likely treatment options prior to meeting with their urologist,” Singh said.

It’s only meant for men with early-stage tumors that haven’t spread to other parts of the body. It won’t predict treatment decisions for men with more complex cases.

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