Credit: Doctor’s visit via Shutterstock
More Prostate Cancers Can Be Monitored Rather Than Treated
Many men diagnosed withِ prostate cancer shouldِ notِ undergo treatment rightِ away, butِ rather, haveِ their cancer closely monitored andِ treated onlyِ when theِ disease progresses, according toِ anِ independent panel convened byِ the National Institutes ofِ Health (NIH).
The panel saidِ men withِ low-risk prostate cancers, orِ aboutِ 100,000 men inِ the United States, shouldِ receive so-called active surveillance, a strategy inِ which patients receive regular follow-up testing withِ theِ intention ofِ treating ifِ the cancer becomesِ more aggressive.
Currently, aboutِ 10 percent ofِ men diagnosed withِ prostate cancer delay treatment, andِ the remaining 90 percent receive treatments suchِ asِ surgery orِ radiation therapy, according toِ theِ National Institutes ofِ Health.
Low-risk prostate cancer
Treatments forِ prostate cancer comeِ with risks, including erectile dysfunction andِ loss ofِ urinary control.
Moreover, ofِ the 240,000 prostate cancers diagnosed thisِ year, moreِ than halfِ will notِ beِ aggressive atِ diagnosis, andِ are unlikelyِ toِ becomeِ life-threatening, theِ NIH says.
Martin Sanda, director ofِ the Prostate Center atِ Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center inِ Boston, whoِ wasِ notِ involved inِ the panel.
Screening forِ prostate cancer, withِ PSA blood tests andِ possible biopsies, alsoِ comes withِ risks, including infections, pain andِ anxiety.
Preventative Task Force recommended againstِ screening withِ theِ PSA test inِ healthy men, citing concerns aboutِ overtreatment.
But someِ doctors sayِ active surveillance providesِ a middle ground betweenِ screening everyoneِ andِ overtreating many, andِ screening noِ one atِ all.