One common treatment for New York men who have been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer is surgery. However, a 20-year study provided evidence showing that this surgery not only did not prolong patients’ lives, but it also often resulted in serious complications.
The study found that 61 percent of men who were given the prostate cancer surgery died as a result of other causes. Of those who did not have the surgery, 66 percent died of other causes. Of those who did die fromprostate cancer, 7 percent of the men had had prostate cancer surgery while 11 percent did not. Of those who were surgically treated for prostate cancer, 17 percent experienced incontinence while 15 percent experienced erectile dysfunction. Forty-five percent of the men developed other complications associated with prostate cancer surgery.
Early-stage prostate cancer means that the cancer has not moved outside of the prostate gland and that the tumors found there are not aggressive. In fact, these patients generally have a positive prognosis without the need for aggressive treatment. It was hoped by the study authors that doctors would avoid pushing aggressive treatment, such as surgery, for those who had localized cancer and therefore did not need it.
When a person has cancer, many of the treatment options have risks and potential complications. However, patients expect doctors to help them choose the right treatment for their condition based on their unique circumstances. If an unneeded aggressive treatment results in a worsened medical condition, then the patient might want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal recourse might be available.