Conservative Disease Management as a Viable Choice for Elderly Patients with Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

Conservative Disease Management as a Viable Choice for Elderly Patients with Low-Risk Prostate Cancer
A new study led by researchers at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey was recently published in the journal European Urology revealing that elderly patients with low-risk prostate cancer can benefit in terms of survival from conservative management of the disease. The study is entitled “Fifteen-year Outcomes Following Conservative Management Among Men Aged 65 Years or Older with Localized Prostate Cancer.” Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, with almost one million new cases diagnosed every year worldwide. It was previously shown that men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the early 90s had a higher 10-year survival rate in comparison with men whose cancers were diagnosed in prior decades. This study has now been extended to a follow-up period of 15 years, and evaluated survival rates among older men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer that have been submitted to conservative management. The team conducted a population-based study with 31,137 Medicare patients aged 65 or older who had been diagnosed with early-stage localized prostate cancer between 1992 and 2009, and who had only received conservative management in the first six months after diagnosis. Conservative management is based on patient’s close monitoring and excludes surgery, radiotherapy, androgen deprivation therapy or cryotherapy. Prostate cancers can be classified using the Gleason score, a grading system that helps to evaluate cancer prognosis based on its microscopic appearance, where a higher Gleason score corresponds to a more aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis. The research team found that men aged between 65 and 74 years with prostate cancer of Gleason score 5-7 (treatable cancer) had a lower 15-year risk of prostate cancer-specific mo
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