Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Patients Opting to Delay Treatment Report Positive Life Quality

Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Patients Opting to Delay Treatment Report Positive Life Quality
Men with less aggressive prostate cancer who opt for active surveillance instead of surgery or radiotherapy have a good quality of life, similar to that of men without cancer, according to long-term research presented at the 2016 European Association of Urology Congress in Munich, titled “Long-term quality of life outcomes after active surveillance or curative treatment for prostate cancer." Prostate cancer affects some 400,000 men every year in Europe, and most patients are treated either with radiotherapy (RT) or radical prostatectomy (RP). These treatments, while necessary in many cases, are associated with side effects that can include erectile dysfunction or incontinence. An alternative for patients with less aggressive prostate cancers is to avoid or delay initial treatment, undergoing what's known as Active Surveillance (AS). The cancer in these people is monitored regularly, and they have the option of switching to curative treatment should the tumor change. Researchers evaluated whether AS helps patients with prostate cancer enjoy, over the long term, a better quality of life. A total of 427 patients with low-risk prostate cancer, ages 66 to 69, were assessed for life quality and then followed for five to 10 years after diagnosis. Of these, 121 patients opted for AS, 74 had surgery, and 232 were treated with radiotherapy. A control group of 204 men without prostate cancer, matched for age, was also examined. Patients choosing AS reported higher quality of life scores compared to those who had undergone surgery (RP), and better urinary function, sexual function, and fewer reports of uri
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