BALTIMORE, June 10 (UPI) — Men who have low-risk prostate cancer and opt for “watchful waiting” but later have surgery do not have worse outcomes, U.S. researchers found.
Bruce Trock, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute in Maryland, and colleagues said active surveillance is an option for men whose tumors are considered small, low-grade and at low risk of being lethal. They are monitored for any changes that signal a higher grade, more aggressive cancer that requires surgery.
The researchers compared the pathology results of men in an active surveillance group, who later had surgery, with those who also had low-risk tumors and had immediate surgery.
In general, 15 percent to 25 percent of men whose initial biopsy showed a low-risk prostate tumor will actually have a high-grade cancer and need surgery, Trock said.
The study found 43 men whose pathology results worsened during surveillance, but the remaining men in that group had similar pathology results with their later surgery as those who had immediate surgery.
“This means that most tumors are not likely to worsen during the period of active surveillance,” Trock said in a statement.
The findings were presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting and the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.
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