New research offers a warning to men considering a pricey new treatment for prostate cancer called proton therapy. It might have more side effects than traditional radiation does.

The treatment uses a different form of radiation, and it costs more than twice as much as usual treatments. Proton therapy has come into wide use despite any studies showing that it is as safe or effective as conventional radiation.

The new study looked at Medicare records and found that men treated with proton beams later had one-third more bowel problems.

Results will be discussed at a cancer conference in San Francisco later this week.

 

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