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Rectal & bladder cancer - Be aware of the symptoms

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Overall the risk of getting bladder and rectal cancer is very low.  But if you have received radiation therapy for Prostate Cancer, long term surveillance is important.   You and your doctor should be careful to monitor for symptoms of bladder and rectal cancer in the long term.


This is the advice of Dr Kathleen A. Cooney, the senior author of a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre.


The researchers looked at the number of second primary cancers that developed 10 or more years after men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Because prostate cancer patients typically survive a long time, it raises concerns about the risk of second cancers.


As a whole, men diagnosed with prostate cancer were at a lower risk of developing a second cancer than the general public.  But when researchers looked at patients who received external beam radiation therapy, they found these patients were more likely to be diagnosed in the long term with rectal cancer or bladder cancer than the general public.


Radiation therapy is a standard treatment for prostate cancer and the researchers stressed that their findings should not prohibit anyone from choosing this treatment, in particular men who are not good candidates for surgery.




“Risk of second primary tumors in men diagnosed with prostate cancer: A population-based cohort study Issue” published in the Journal “Cancer” Volume 120, Issue 17, pages 2735–2741, September 1, 2014.

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