Prostate cancer patients with heart disease are 52% more likely to regret treatment for the disease than those without heart health problems, a study has suggested.

Researchers from the Harvard Medical School studied 795 men with prostate cancer. Of the participants, 410 men opted for prostatectomy (surgery), 237 underwent radiation therapy, 124 had brachytherapy (internal radiation) and 24 received primary androgen deprivation (hormone) therapy.

Just under 15% of men admitted they regretted having treatment for prostate cancer – 52% higher in men with cardiovascular problems, than in those without heart health issues.

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Experts believe the regret could be because men with heart disease are generally more likely to experience bowel problems (58% more likely) and urinary problems (46%) after treatment.

Treatment regret can have an adverse impact on a patient's overall outlook and has been associated with a poorer global quality of life," says lead author Dr Paul L Nguyen in a statement.

"While many patients are grateful for the chance to select their treatment, some may subsequently regret their treatment if the outcomes after therapy do not meet their expectations.

"Our research also suggests that prostate cancer patients with cardiovascular issues should be alerted to the potential increased risk of post-treatment toxicity, such as bowel problems, as this may help to reduce treatment regret if their cancer returns."

The results were published in the urology journal BJUI International.

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