Study Shows Many Men with Prostate Cancer Can Avoid Aggressive Treatments: Delay or Monitor Instead

Prostate Cancer Study Shows Delay in Treatment Can Be Beneficial

A new study on prostate cancer treatment has shown that some men can avoid or delay aggressive treatment without impacting survival rates.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed over 1,500 men with localized prostate cancer for 15 years. The men were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: active monitoring, surgery, or radiotherapy.

The study found that after 15 years, the survival rates were similar across all three treatment groups. However, men in the active monitoring group had a higher risk of cancer progression and needed treatment eventually. Men who underwent surgery or radiotherapy were more likely to experience complications such as impotence and incontinence.

The findings suggest that for some men with low-risk prostate cancer, active monitoring or delaying treatment can be a safe and effective option.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Peter Carroll, said, “For some men, observation or active surveillance may be a wise choice, to avoid or delay the side effects of surgery or radiation without compromising their chance of survival.”

The study emphasizes the importance of individualized treatment plans that take into account a patient’s age, overall health, and personal preferences. Prior studies have shown that overdiagnosis and overtreatment of prostate cancer can lead to unnecessary harm and financial burden on patients and the healthcare system.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men discuss the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening and treatment with their healthcare providers and make informed decisions based on their individual circumstances.