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Early Treatment of Prostate Cancer had better Survival Rate

February 27th, 2006

Early Treatment of Prostrate Cancer had better Survival Rate

PSA blood Test

This study shows that early treatment of prostate cancer with radiation therapy or surgery may prolong survival rates compared to patients that are just observed to see if it gets worse before treating.  The study looked at the data of 48,000 men between the ages of 65 and 80 that had survived for at least one year after being diagnosed with localized prostate cancer from 1991 through 1999.  Yu-Ning Wong, M.D., an oncologist from the Fox Chase Cancer Center, presented the results of this study at the 2006 Prostate Cancer Symposium February 25th, in San Francisco.

Early diagnosis of prostate cancer can be diagnosed with a PSA (prostate-specific-antigen) blood test.  This blood test can detect very early stages of prostate cancer that are usually watched and not necessarily treated.  It is possible that the early prostate cancer may not be life threatening and may grow slowly.


"Some prostate cancers grow so slowly that they never become life-threatening, especially in elderly men who may die of other causes before the cancer causes problems," explained Wong. "But other men develop complications and die from their cancer making the decision to treat quite difficult."  

Even though early treatment of prostate cancer had more success rates, the researchers do not know if it is beneficial for everyone because of the risks of the diagnostic procedures and cancer treatment.  The complications involved with the treatment process may be risky and life threatening in itself.


In the research of these 48,000 men, there were a total of 34,046 who were treated early.  There were 19,948 men that had radiation therapy treatment.  There 14,098 were treated with surgery with a radical prostatectomy which is the removal of the prostate.  The remaining 14,560 men were observed for any changes in the prostate.

At the end the study, the data reflected that more than half of the men that were treated were alive with a median survival rate of 13 years.  The observation group that did not get early treatment had a median survival rate of around 10 years.


"This large, population-based study demonstrates a survival advantage for men treated with either radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy compared to observation," Wong said. "Eligible men should be considered for both treatment options."

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM