This year, 180,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 60,000 of them will be treated with radiation. Those who would like to know their chances of cancer-free survival after radiation treatment can look to recent research that shows the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level at the initial diagnosis is an indicator.
When researchers looked at records of 1,765 patients with localized prostate cancer, they found that higher initial PSA levels presage higher risk after treatment.
This data analysis may provide urologists with a benchmark against which future therapies may be compared. In the meantime, researchers found that over 80% of men receiving radiation therapy for early prostate cancer survive cancer-free with long follow-up.