Study Says Some Prostate Cancers Are Over-Treated – Treatments Involved Radiation and Removal – Monitoring Low Risk Patient

Study Says Some Prostate Cancers Are Over-Treated – Treatments Involved Radiation and Removal – Monitoring  Low Risk Patients

Researchers in Michigan say that low-risk patients with prostate cancer may be over-treated and may do better with monitoring. In the past the recommended treatments involved removing the prostate rather than monitoring the cancer’s progress.

Since many cancers have been detected early, some doctors have been aggressively treating low-risk patients. Researchers say this may not be the best solution. New studies suggest that aggressive treatment does not improve survival benefits and may harm patients' health.

The study involved 24,825 men with lower-risk prostate cancers. 13,537 underwent immediate treatment with radiation or prostate removal. The authors said “Assuming waiting for treatment would have been the best approach for these cancers; the authors found that 10% of patients were overtreated with prostate removal and 44% with radiation therapy. Wei and colleagues suggest waiting until treatment is necessary may reduce overtreatment for patients with low risk prostate cancer.”

The research was done by John T. Wei, M.D., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his colleagues. It appears in the August 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. They say, "Efforts to reduce overtreatment should be a clinical and public health priority."

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