According to a new study, more urologists and their patients are opting to monitor low-risk prostate cancer rather than immediately jump into surgery, radiation or hormone therapy. Just over 10,000 men with localized prostate cancer treated at 45 urology practices between 1990 and 2013 were involved in the study. The study showed the number of low-risk patients who didn't undergo treatment jumped from as low as 7 percent from 1990-2009 to 40 percent from 2010-2013.
Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer
Study author Dr. Matthew Cooperberg, of the Helen Diller Family Chair in Urology at the University of California, San Francisco says that this is “excellent news” regarding the popularity of “active surveillance.”
The reason this can be a good thing for some low-risk prostate cancer patients is because prostate cancer treatments, such as surgery or radiation, can lead to serious long-term side effects, such as incontinence and impotence. In addition, the American Cancer Society notes that some prostate cancers are slow-growing and are less likely to cause problems, especially for older men.
This type of watchful waiting is not always best for patients however.
Prostate Cancer Treatments
The study also found that when it came to patients who had a higher-risk disease, there was more aggressive management with surgery, radiation or both. “Which is also a trend toward better management," Cooperberg said.
Cancers are very individualized and demand a specific treatment plan designed especially for you. Often times, patients with prostate cancer are referred to us by their physicians due to our expertise and experience. The doctors at Philadelphia Urology Associates treat a variety of prostate issues, using the newest, leading-edge therapies and techniques.
The bottom line is that everyone is different and the treatment methods, or lack there of, are on a case-by-case basis. By using the active surveillance method for low-risk patients we can treat the men who need to be treated and avoid the risk of side effects in those who don’t.
If you’re over the age of 50, and have not recently been tested for prostate cancer, schedule an appointment with the physicians at Philadelphia Urology Associates today.