Men who undergo radiation for prostate cancer have nearly double the risk of developing rectal cancer when compared to men who opt to have surgery to treat prostate cancer, according to a study published today in the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) journal Gastroenterology. Men who receive radiation for prostate cancer have a 70 percent higher risk of developing rectal cancer than those who underwent surgery, a risk similar to that posed by having a family history of the disease.
"Men who have had prostate radiation should be aggressively monitored for rectal cancer starting five years after treatment," said Nancy Baxter, MD, PhD, lead study author with the University of Minnesota Cancer Center. "This is the first time rectal cancer risk associated with prostate radiation has been quantified, and these findings may also have implications for patients treated with radiation for other pelvic cancers."
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in the United States. Although there is a high rate of survival associated with prostate cancer, a large number of men are left at risk for long-term consequences of their cancer treatment, including the development of other cancers.
Kimberly Wise | EurekAlert!
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