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CA Cancer J Clin. 2008 Jul-Aug;58(4):196-213. doi: 10.3322/CA.2008.0002. Epub 2008 May 23.

Management of complications of prostate cancer treatment.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed noncutaneous cancer in men in the United States. Treatment of men with prostate cancer commonly involves surgical, radiation, or hormone therapy. Most men with prostate cancer live for many years after diagnosis and may never suffer morbidity or mortality attributable to prostate cancer. The short-term and long-term adverse consequences of therapy are, therefore, of great importance. Adverse effects of radical prostatectomy include immediate postoperative complications and long-term urinary and sexual complications. External beam or interstitial radiation therapy in men with localized prostate cancer may lead to urinary, gastrointestinal, and sexual complications. Improvements in surgical and radiation techniques have reduced the incidence of many of these complications. Hormone treatment typically consists of androgen deprivation therapy, and consequences of such therapy may include vasomotor flushing, anemia, and bone density loss. Numerous clinical trials have studied the role of bone antiresorptive therapy for prevention of bone density loss and fractures. Other long-term consequences of androgen deprivation therapy may include adverse body composition changes and increased risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Ongoing and planned clinical trials will continue to address strategies to prevent treatment-related side effects and improve quality of life for men with prostate cancer.

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