publication date: Aug. 4, 2015

Researchers: As Many as 40% of Prostate Cancer Patients Could be Receiving Overtreatment

 

As many as 40 percent of patients with lower-risk prostate cancers may be currently receiving overtreatment, according to researchers that examined common treatment practices.

Monitoring men with very low- and low-risk prostate cancers using watchful waiting or active surveillance, or expectant management, is a useful approach for a large number of men with localized tumors and could spare them the debilitating side effects of aggressive treatments that are too often unnecessarily used in this patient population, according to a study led by researchers at UCLA.

Since the initiation of PSA screening tests, most men with prostate cancer are now diagnosed with localized, low-risk prostate tumors that are unlikely to kill them. However, nearly all of these men undergo surgery or radiation, putting them at risk for ongoing side effects such as erectile dysfunction and impaired urinary function.

“This study is the most up-to-date and comprehensive review of expectant management of prostate cancer patients worldwide,” said review senior author Mark Litwin, professor and chair of UCLA Urology.

“Active surveillance and other observational strategies have produced excellent, long-term disease-specific survival and minimal morbidity for men with prostate cancer. Despite this, expectant management remains underused for men with localized prostate cancer.”

The study was published in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The study was funded in part by the American Cancer Society.

First, researchers clarified the definitions of types of surveillance. Active surveillance uses repeated PSA testing and prostate … Continue reading CCL July – Researchers: As Many as 40% of Prostate Cancer Patients Could be Receiving Overtreatment

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