More Men With Prostate Cancer Opt for Monitoring Over Treatment
Men with early stage, localized prostate cancer increasingly are opting for monitoring the disease and holding off on treatment until necessary, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Reuters reports.
Aggressive treatments carry a risk of incontinence, impotence or other complications. Instead, regular monitoring through tests and biopsies -- sometimes called "active surveillance" or "watchful waiting" -- can be preferable for some low-risk prostate cancers.
Study Details, Findings
Data for the study came from 10,472 men with localized prostate cancer treated at 45 urology practices between 1990 and 2013. The study found that surveillance:
- Among men with low-risk cancer ranged from 7% to 14% from 1990 to 2009;
- Increased to 40% between 2010 and 2013; and
- Among men ages 75 or older was 76% from 2010 to 2013.
Further, researchers found that the rates of men who underwent androgen deprivation therapy, which limits the effects of hormones on cancer, declined by the end of the study. The treatment is not endorsed for stand-alone use.
Matthew Cooperberg , the lead author of the study, said, "Our hope is that these findings and other papers with similar findings will really start to reopen the question on early detection and screening," adding, "This is progress in the right direction" (Seaman, Reuters, 7/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.