"The study shows that patients base their treatment choice not only on technical information, but also on cultural and personal prejudices," said Riccardo Valdagni, M.D., an author of the study and head of the Prostate Programme at the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, Italy. "It's important for patients to express their fears about radiation treatment to their doctors and for doctors to consider these worries and address any misconceptions about this therapy so that patients can make the best, most informed decision about their treatment."
Men with prostate cancer often choose between external beam radiation therapy, radiation seed implants and surgery to treat their cancer. During external beam radiation, a beam of radiation, or X-ray, is directed through the skin to the cancer and the immediate surrounding area to kill the cancer. To minimize side effects, radiation is given five days a week for several weeks. Many men with prostate cancer choose external beam radiation over other treatments because it is non-invasive, has a short recovery period and often helps men preserve their sexual and urinary function.
However, Dr. Valdagni's study shows that some men with prostate cancer have definite fears about radiation treatment, with the greatest worries related to false beliefs on how the X-rays would affect them. For example, some patients think that radiation cannot be controlled because it is invisible, that it will harm surrounding unprotected organs and that it is dangerous for family members to physically be near them when undergoing radiation treatment. Patients also said that the terminology used in radiation therapy, such as the term "hitting the target," evoked feelings more related to war than to a cure. In addition, while some patients experienced technology as reassuring, many others felt that the technologically advanced computer equipment used during radiation treatment provoked anxiety.
The study was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of doctors (urologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and psychologists) at the Milan National Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Program from March 2005 to March 2006. The team interviewed 257 men with prostate cancer to find out their perceptions about radiation therapy.
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Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.
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Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.
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An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".
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