3 in 4 Men with Slow-growing Prostate Cancer Fail to Get Appropriate Follow-up, Study Finds

3 in 4 Men with Slow-growing Prostate Cancer Fail to Get Appropriate Follow-up, Study Finds
Nearly three-quarters of men with slow-growing prostate cancer who decide on active surveillance are not receiving the appropriate follow-up and might be missing signs of tumor worsening, according to a recent retrospective study from Australia. The study, “Active surveillance of men with low risk prostate cancer: evidence from the Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry–Victoria,” was published in the Medical Journal of Australia. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide after skin cancer. Most localized prostate cancer is slow-growing and slow to spread — called low-risk prostate cancer — and may not need treatment or shorten a man's life. Because of that, active surveillance, a monitoring option that allows the screening of any signs of tumor growth or worsening before surgical removal or therapy, is highly recommended in these cases. This way, if the cancer does not progress, patients can avoid unnecessary invasive surgery and other burdensome treatments that might have side effects. About 70% of men with low-risk prostate cancer who adhere to active surveillance will not need additional treatment, whereas the other 30% will have disease progression. But even though these patients have a low risk of cancer progression and spread, it is essential that they are closely monitored through active surveillance, consisting of periodic biopsies of prostate tissue and blood tests to assess prostate specific antigens (PSA). The numbers of patients adheri
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