Ra­di­ol­o­gists urge more dis­cus­sion

Otago Daily Times - - DUNEDIN - MIKE HOULAHAN Health re­porter mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

PROSTATE can­cer pa­tients need to be told ra­di­a­tion on­col­ogy is a treat­ment op­tion for their con­di­tion, the Royal Aus­tralasian and New Zealand College of Ra­di­ol­o­gists says.

Con­cern not all pa­tients who could ben­e­fit from the treat­ment were be­ing told of it has led the college to re­lease a po­si­tion state­ment in which it calls for all prostate can­cer pa­tients to be re­ferred to a ra­di­a­tion on­col­o­gist to dis­cuss their op­tions.

‘‘We have tried to work with all the var­i­ous rel­e­vant or­gan­i­sa­tions over the years to get some joint path­ways and re­fer­ral guide­lines es­tab­lished,’’ the clin­i­cal lead of the state­ment, San­dra Turner, said.

‘‘How­ever, they miss the re­ally very vi­tal step that men need to talk to a ra­di­a­tion on­col­o­gist to get de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about ra­di­a­tion ther­apy . . . in this doc­u­ment we are re­ally try­ing to en­cour­age other health providers, in­clud­ing GPs and spe­cial­ists, to en­sure men talk to sur­geons about surgery, and to ra­di­a­tion on­col­o­gists about ra­di­a­tion ther­apy, then go away and think about it, talk to their fam­i­lies, and then make the de­ci­sion which is right for them.’’

As­so­ciate Prof Turner, of Syd­ney Uni­ver­sity, said Aus­tralian and New Zealand ra­di­a­tion on­col­o­gists had worked closely to­gether to draft the po­si­tion state­ment.

‘‘I’m not a New Zealand ra­di­a­tion on­col­o­gist, but I can as­sure you there has been broad con­sul­ta­tion.’’

Prostate can­cer is the most com­mon can­cer in men on either side of the Tas­man — about 3000 New Zealan­ders are di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease an­nu­ally.

It is also highly treat­able — 95% of men di­ag­nosed with prostate can­cer are alive five years’ later.

How­ever, the college was con­cerned some men were hav­ing their prostate re­moved with­out hav­ing been given the op­tion of ra­di­a­tion ther­apy — a treat­ment re­ceived by fewer men than surgery.

‘‘It (ra­di­a­tion ther­apy) has some ad­van­tages com­pared to surgery, and it also has some dis­ad­van­tages,’’ Prof Turner said.

‘‘We’re not say­ing one is bet­ter than the other; rather that men de­serve to have all the in­for­ma­tion so that they can make a choice which is right for them. And that is what is not hap­pen­ing and what con­tin­ues not to hap­pen, which is why we have re­leased the po­si­tion state­ment.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.