Radiation for Prostate Linked to Later Pelvic Cancer

-- Eric Metcalf

Thursday, October 22, 2009

THURSDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation following radical surgery for prostate cancer may increase the risk of late primary pelvic second primary cancer, according to research published in the October issue of Urology.

May Abdel-Wahab, M.D., of the University of Miami, and colleagues analyzed data from more than 228,000 patients in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1988 and 2002 as their first malignancy.

The researchers note that second primary cancer occurred in 8.4 percent of the group, with 81 percent of cases in the non-pelvic area. The risk of developing a second malignancy was 1,747 cases per 100,000 in the radiation plus radical surgery group and 1,581 in the group receiving radical surgery alone. The researchers also found that radiation in addition to radical surgery was associated with an increased rate of late primary pelvic second primary cancer by 374 cases per 100,000.

"I believe one should mention the risk, albeit small, of a radiation-induced second primary cancer. This same discussion should be invoked for the patient with a biochemical recurrence after total prostatectomy or for that matter for the patient being considered for adjuvant radiation because of a positive margin or other adverse pathology," writes Mark S. Soloway, M.D., of the University of Miami, in an accompanying editorial about discussing the risks of treatment options with newly diagnosed men.

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