Active Surveillance for Very Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Is Still Underutilized

Active Surveillance for Very Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Is Still Underutilized
While patients with very low-risk prostate cancer may be treated with active surveillance (AS), reducing over-treatment and treatment-related complications, a new study shows that only one in four patients in this group actually opt for this treatment. Despite this low figure, however, the use of AS has nearly tripled from 2010 to 2013. The study, "Trends in active surveillance for very low-risk prostate cancer: do guidelines influence modern practice?", was published in the journal Cancer Medicine. AS is used in patients with localized, favorable/low-risk prostate cancer. It was developed to reduce the risks associated with over-diagnosis and over-treatment. It also aims to provide treatment for patients with localized cancers that are likely to progress and to reduce the complications resulting from treatment of cancers that are not likely to progress. Despite National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines recommending the use of AS, data to evaluate trends of its use in patients with very low-risk prostate cancer in the U.S. are still limited. Therefore, researchers aimed to examine the trends in adherence to national guidelines regarding AS. The authors used data from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) from 2010 to 2013. They found that of 448,773 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer, 40,838 had very low-risk prostate cancer. Only 5,798, or 14.2%, were prescribed AS. But the rates had increased from 11.6% in 2010 to 27.3% in 2013. Patients without insurance had a higher chance of recei
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