As reported in today’s Times newspaper, ‘new NICE guidance on prostate cancer recommends men with low and medium-risk prostate cancer to have regular checks rather than radiotherapy or surgery to remove their tumour (because most men die WITH, rather than FROM prostate cancer). And, for the first time, NICE is also telling doctors that they must offer treatment for bleeding and diarrhoea after damage to the bowels from radiotherapy damage, while men on hormone treatment should be offered exercise programmes to deal with tiredness, drugs to deal with hot flushes…’
It is good to hear that, as with breast screening and resultant overtreatment of breast ‘cancers’, the harms caused by relying only on one psa result and rushing men into biopsy and treatment are being recognised.
And since it’s not only men who suffer severe side effects from radiotherapy but, for example, the many women who have pelvic radiotherapy, such follow up treatments and support should apply to all affected radiotherapy patients. After 23 years of bleeding and diarrhoea (and other side effects of pelvic radiotherapy) I look forward to learning about treatments that could have been helping me all this time.
NB people diagnosed with cancer can investigate possible treatments via a clinical trial at Cancer Research UK – eg for prostate cancer and HIFU see: