Some Low-risk Prostate Cancer Patients Overtreated
Past guidelines for early-stage prostate cancer was to remove the prostate. However, as cancers are easier to detect these days, prostate cancers are being detected at ever earlier stages. The researchers suggest that treating the prostate cancer today at a very early stage may not be in the best interests of the patient. In fact, studies have found that early aggressive treatment does nothing to improve patient survival, and could even harm his health.
The researchers looked at data on 71,602 men, all aged over 70, who were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the period 2000-2002. They then broke them down into those who received various therapies and those who were not treated (a ‘wait and see' approach).
24,825 of them had lower-risk prostate cancers. Assuming waiting for treatment would have been the best approach for these cancers, the team found that 10% of these patients were overtreated with prostate removal and 44% with radiation therapy.
The researchers wrote "Efforts to reduce overtreatment should be a clinical and public health priority."
Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Patients Face Overtreatment
Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 98, No. 16, 1095, August 16, 2006
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