Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men. More often than not, prostate cancer develops slowly over time, and the majority of men with this form of cancer do not die from it.
The study—which followed men with prostate cancer over the course of 10 years—found that there was no difference in death rates between men who were chosen randomly to receive early treatment (i.e., surgery or radiation) versus those whose cancer was only monitored for change. Active monitoring includes regular visits with a physical exam, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and biopsies when necessary.
Although the death rates didn’t vary, the cancer was more likely to spread in those actively monitored than those receiving early treatment. (It should be noted if the disease progressed in patients being monitored, treatment was given.)
Overall, the death rate in the study was small: Approximately one percent of the patients in the study died 10 years after the diagnosis.
What Is the Bottom Line?
This study gives hope to patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer but are concerned about the side effects of treatment that can affect bowel, bladder and sexual function, such as impotence and urinary incontinence. In short, early prostate cancer is not the emergency it was once made out to be, and the study reassures men that there is time to discuss options with their physicians.
Meet the Prostate Cancer Specialists
At Partners in Urology, our specialists are dedicated to the most advanced treatment techniques for prostate cancer, including active monitoring of the condition. Our practice provides the highest quality of care for this and other urological conditions.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Partners in Urology today.