Patients with the early stage prostate cancer, who choose radiation, can spend less time getting treatments. New guidelines from three major cancer organizations, recommend a radiation treatment that can be completed in half the time of standard radiation therapy. Currently patients are treated with standard radiation for eight to nine weeks. But the new guidelines say that higher intensity radiation, with the treatment lasting four to five weeks, can now be used.
The recommendations are based on an exhaustive evaluation of the medical studies by a task force from the American Society for Radiation Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Urological Association. The task force looked at two kinds of external beam radiation treatment:
- Moderately hypofractionated, which means the doses are higher than the standard radiation. The scientific evidence was strong for use in low-, intermediate-, and high-risk patients
- Extremely hypofractionated, where the dose is even higher, and can be completed in as few as five sessions. But this treatment, was only recommended for low-dose patients. In intermediate- and high-risk patients, only treatment in a clinical trial was recommended.