How do patients with a localized prostate carcinoma rate the healing success of surgery, radiation or active surveillance themselves? What influences the decision for the type of treatment? These questions are being investigated in a current study by the research group led by PD Dr. Friederike Kendel from the Institute of Medical Psychology at the Charité. Together with other institutes, the West German Prostate Center supports the so-called COPCa study ("Coping with low risk prostate cancer").
Around 67,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Germany every year. Thanks to significantly improved early detection options, especially since the introduction of the PSA test, over 90 percent of all tumors are now detected at an early and thus usually curable stage. "If the tumor is confined to the prostate, the affected person has several options for therapy," explains Dr. Stephan Neubauer of the West German Prostate Center in Cologne: internal radiation (brachytherapy), external radiation or radical surgery. For men with low-risk carcinoma, it is even possible to merely monitor the tumor closely (active surveillance, AS). "Which treatment strategy is right for which patient must always be decided on an individual basis," the urologist added.
However, in addition to the severity of the tumor, concomitant diseases and age, the patient's very personal reasons and preferences also play a role in the choice of therapy. PD Dr. Friederike Kendel from the Institute of Medical Psychology at the Charité is dedicated to this aspect. Together with several cooperation partners, including the West German Prostate Center in Cologne, the scientist is investigating how the decision-making process of the patient is influenced and what side effects and burdens are associated with the respective treatment.
Conditions for participation in the COPCa study
Men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer will be interviewed about treatment decisions, health status, perceptions, and management of the disease using a detailed questionnaire. The survey will be repeated after 6, 12 and 18 months. Furthermore, the men must not be older than 75 years and the time of diagnosis must not be longer than 3 months ago. If the patient has decided to undergo invasive therapy such as radiotherapy or surgery, this should not yet have begun.
Our goal with the COPCa study is to help ensure that information on the various treatment options for low-risk prostate cancer and their quality of life is presented and communicated to patients as transparently as possible. This has always been a major concern of the West German Prostate Center: "Only those who have a precise understanding of their disease and the various treatment options can make an optimal therapy decision," emphasizes Dr. Neubauer.
If you would like to participate in the study, please contact us or contact the Charité directly - by phone or e-mail: Monday and Thursday, 1-4 p.m. at 030/450529168 or at copca@charité.de
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