Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013
By Genevra Pittman
NEW YORK – Watching and routinely examining men with early, slow-growing prostate cancer is more effective and cheaper than sending them to surgery or radiation right away, according to a new study.
The findings are based on a model of 65- to 75-year-old men that takes into account costs of tests, treatment and missed work, treatment side effects, men’s quality of life and their chance of dying from prostate cancer.
“Most of the men who are diagnosed in this country these days have low-risk prostate cancer,” said Dr. Julia Hayes, who led the new study at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Boston.
That type of disease may never grow large or fast enough to threaten a man’s life. But treating it can cause side effects such as incontinence and impotence.
“There’s a huge group of men out there who are probably treated unnecessarily,” Hayes told Reuters Health.