Most men diagnosed with Prostate cancer could delay or avoid heavy treatment without harming their chances of survival. This is the astonishing conclusion of a new scientific study, published on March 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine (Source 1).
Surgery, radiotherapy and monitoring are the three main possible approaches in the case of prostate cancer. It is these three approaches that were compared here, with 1,610 British men volunteers, randomly assigned to one of these three interventions and followed up between 1999 and 2009. Their cancers were all confined to the prostate, without any metastasis. Death from prostate cancer occurred in 3.1% of men in the active surveillance group, in 2.2% of men in the surgery group and in 2.9% of the radiotherapy group, differences considered statistically insignificant by Researchers.
The study does not report no difference in prostate cancer mortality at 15 years between groups, and prostate cancer survival for all three groups was high: 97%, whatever the therapeutic approach.
“The good news is that if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, don’t panic and take your time to make a decision on how to do this, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Freddie Hamdy, professor of surgery and urology at the University of Oxford, in a statement (Source 2). Instead, the researcher encourages patients to carefully consider the pros and cons possible different treatment options.
Scientists point out that, in most cases, prostate cancer isslow evolution. A small number of men, however, have high-risk or more advanced prostate cancer, and instead require urgent treatment. In the United States, about 60% of low-risk patients choose surveillance, now called active surveillance, the study authors said.
The researchers believe that these results are encouraging, particularly for men who fear or wish to avoid problems with sexuality and incontinence that can arise as a result of treatments.
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