We here at Health Central try to offer you up-to-date health news you can use. Well we recently heard about a new online tool created by doctors - the CaP calculator, which provides cancer specialists access to the latest prostate cancer research. This helps them to create individualized patient care diagnostic/treatment plans. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, you need to know about surgical options, radiation therapy, radiation seed implants (brachytherapy), which are options depending on what stage of prostate cancer you have.
The web-based tool allows doctors to enter information about a patient's cancer stage (based on rectal exam), PSA levels, and biopsy information. The calculator allows the doctor to evaluate the risk of the disease spreading beyond the prostate and how effective just surgery, just radiation or combined therapies would be. It can be so challenging for the patient (and family) to make a decision about treatment, especially when treatment can result in certain negative side effects like Erectile Dysfunction.
The doctors who created this CaP Calculator really wanted to spur discussion among the team of doctors who might be treating you (including a urologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist, oncology specialist) so that an informed conference with the patient could lay out all the different options and the pros and cons of each. Researchers are planning to continue to evaluate the tool to see if it also helps to reduce men's stress and anxiety, as well as uncertainty, when they receive a new prostate cancer diagnosis.
The tool has actually been presented today at the American Society for Radiology and Oncology's 50th Annual Meeting in Boston.
Published On: October 01, 2008