A new British study finds, on average, there's no greater risk in carefully monitoring a prostate tumor than having it removed or hit with radiation. The implication is that patients are being over-treated. What does that mean to an individual patient with a prostate tumor?
Men with early prostate cancer who choose to closely monitor their disease are just as likely to survive at least 10 years as those who have surgery or radiation, finds a major study that directly tested and compared these options.
Survival from prostate cancer was so high - 99 percent, regardless of which approach men had - that the results call into question not only what treatment is best but also whether any treatment at all is needed for early-stage cases. And that in turn adds to concern about screening with PSA blood tests, because screening is worthwhile only if finding cancer earlier saves lives.
*With files from AP
Dr. Christopher Saigal, professor and vice chair of urology at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Andre Abreu, assistant professor of clinical urology at USC’s Institute of Urology