Recent studies reveal that 90 percent of Swedish men who have a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer prefer close monitoring and not immediate treatment. Experts believe that Americans should use this method as well.
During the latest study, approximately 33,000 Swedish men who had a low risk of prostate cancer were monitored from 2009 to 2014. At first, only 57 percent of them relied on active surveillance, whereas these rates increased to 91 percent by 2014.
According to Dr. Stacy Loeb, lead researcher and assistant professor at Perlmutter Cancer Center in NY, men who receive a low-risk prostate cancer diagnosis should be informed about the fact that active surveillance is an excellent way to deal with this disease.
She further stressed that this risk could be monitored without treatment. Although some patients will need to receive the appropriate medical assistance, others will simply have to improve their life quality to prevent the onset of this life-threatening illness.
There is a reason why immediate treatment might not be the best bet for these men, and that is because prostate cancer medications might also cause side effects including erectile and urinary problems.
Moreover, active surveillance doesn’t imply patients standing by and waiting for the disease to trigger one day, but it involves other processes such as regular biopsies and blood tests to approximate the tumor’s growth.
In case the tumor is large enough to represent a threat, doctors will provide patients with the best treatment until the curative radiation or surgery are needed. The latest British survey has revealed that a decade after the diagnosis has been given, the mortality risk for men was the same even if they had radiation, surgery, or they went for monitoring.
With this study, scientists hope to raise awareness about the importance of active surveillance across the United States and also in other countries which prefer radiation or surgery over monitoring.
According to the statistics, around 181,000 Americans will most likely receive a prostate cancer diagnose this year, and most of these will be in the very early stages. Also, around 26,000 men are expected to die of prostate cancer by the end of this year.
Scientists will continue to spread this initiative throughout the country hoping to make more men understand that active surveillance is better than any prostate cancer treatment.
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