James Kearns, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Levine Cancer Institute, discusses adverse events associated with surgery in patients with high-risk prostate cancer.
James Kearns, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health, discusses adverse events (AEs) associated with surgery in patients with high-risk prostate cancer.
Maintaining a patient’s quality of life (QoL) is becoming a much more important endpoint in the treatment of prostate cancer, and Kearns says this is one reason why physicians need to have a conversation with patients before deciding if surgery is the right approach for them. Because surgery is not typically nerve-sparing in high-risk patients, they are likely to develop erectile dysfunction after the procedure. Continence rates tend to be lower, although this is not certain when treating those with “bulky” high-risk disease, Kearns adds.
Physicians often compare the AEs associated with surgery versus radiation therapy to determine which treatment approach to take for these patients. Physicians should consider if surgery will impact QoL and how the procedure will impact QoL in terms of their patients’ overall survival. If survival is being prolonged at the cost of serious QoL issues, this is something patients need to understand before a decision is made.