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Online Insight for Men Who've Had Prostatectomy

Web calculator helps predict their future

TUESDAY, Oct. 29, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- There's a new online calculator that helps forecast the future health of men who have had radical prostatectomy to treat localized prostate cancer.

The calculator predicts the likelihood of a man's level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) remaining low seven years after removal of the prostate gland. About 30 percent to 40 percent of men who have a prostatectomy experience an increase in their PSA level. That may indicate a recurrence of prostate cancer within five to 10 years after the surgery.

To get results, visitors can go to prostate calculator and enter information such as pre-operative PSA level, their preoperative or postoperative cancer stage, and biopsy or pathologic Gleason score. Once the information is entered, it just takes a mouse click to get the prognosis.

The site doesn't collect any personal information and patient privacy is respected. Along with the prognosis, the site offers access to cancer-related information. It doesn't promote specific doctors or treatments.

The calculator was produced by the Artificial Neural Networks in Prostate Cancer Project, based in Denver, Colo. It's based on a multi-year study that examined factors that influenced PSA recurrence in 2,065 men who had radical prostatectomy between 1988 and 2000.

The calculator's accuracy rate is estimated to be more than 70 percent. It's not meant to replace doctors but does provide an improved method of predicting prostate cancer recurrence, says the author of the study that provided the basis for the calculator.

Each year, about 40,000 American men have a radical prostatectomy to treat localized prostate cancer.

More information

Here's where to go to find out more about prostate cancer.

SOURCE: Artificial Neural Networks in Prostate Cancer Project, news release, Oct. 22, 2002
Consumer News