New Study Reveals Good News About Prostate Cancer Treatment

Cancer malignant cells

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Results from a recent study showed that actively monitoring localized prostate cancer was a safe alternative to immediately opting for surgery and radiation, the Associated Press reports.

The results, which were released in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at a European Association of Urology conference in Milan, Italy, on Saturday (March 11), showed positive long-term evidence for men who preferred to avoid treatment in relation to sexual and incontinence issues, according to Dr. Stacy Loeb, a prostate cancer specialist at NYU Langone Health who wasn't involved with the study. Researchers directly compared three different approaches including surgery to remove tumors, radiation treatment and monitoring as part of their long-term research as prostate cancer grows slowly and, therefore, it takes many years to have concrete data in observing the disease's outcomes.

“There was no difference in prostate cancer mortality at 15 years between the groups,” Loeb said via the AP, adding that there was a high survival rate of prostate cancer survival for all three groups at 97% regardless of treatment approach. “That’s also very good news.”

The research was funded by Britain's National Institute of Health and Care Research and included more than 1,600 United Kingdom prostate cancer patients who agreed to undergo surgery, radiation or active monitoring in relation to the disease, according to the AP. Dr. Freddie Hamdy of the University of Oxford, who served as the study's lead author, suggested that men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer should “consider carefully the possible benefits and harms caused by the treatment options," rather than panic or make rushed treatment decisions, but acknowledged that a smaller number of men with high-risk or more advanced prostate cancer should receive treatment sooner.

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