Wait-and-see may be best for early prostate cancer

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.

healthy_manHere are the findings of the study, which we came across on Reuter’s Health:

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.

Men treated unnecessarily

“There’s a huge group of men out there who are probably treated unnecessarily,” Hayes told Reuters Health.

The American Cancer Society estimates about one in six U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and one in 36 will die of the disease.

Hayes and her colleagues compared the effects of immediate treatment after a diagnosis of low-risk cancer to one of two wait-and-see approaches.

Less intensive follow up

With active surveillance, men had a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test every three months, as well as regular prostate biopsies and digital rectal exams. Watchful waiting involved a less intensive follow up, with PSA tests every six months and a bone scan every five years.

Among hypothetical 65-year-old men, 78 percent under active surveillance would ultimately undergo prostate cancer treatment, compared to 34 percent of those who went the watchful waiting route, Hayes and her colleagues found.

Because of that – and the fewer tests and biopsies along the way – watchful waiting turned out to be the cheapest approach. It also didn’t leave men any worse off than other treatment strategies, the researchers wrote Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Watchful waiters

Their model showed that men’s risk of ultimately dying from prostate cancer itself was 4.8 percent for those treated with active surveillance, 6.0 percent for watchful waiters and 8.9 percent among men who went straight to treatment. Men in all three scenarios had a life expectancy between 81 and 82 years.

Watchful waiting and active surveillance were both tied to improved quality of life, with a slight edge going to the less intensive monitoring, depending on what data was put into the model.

“It’s yet another piece of the puzzle that observation in either form is beneficial,” Hayes said.

Still, she said the model only spits out averages – and men still have to make the best decision for their own situation.

Low risk

“This is an important study that adds to mounting evidence about the value of observation (watchful waiting) as a treatment option for many men, in particular for men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer,” said Dr. Timothy Wilt, from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, whose data contributed to the model.

“It appears that … observation can help men live a similar length of life, prevent death from prostate cancer and avoid the harms associated with early treatment,” Wilt, who wasn’t involved in the new research, told Reuters Health.

Combined with the better quality of life and lower cost seen with watchful waiting, “That’s a really winning combination for men,” he said.

Wilt said he believes the model findings also apply to men in their late 50s and early 60s.

“The vast majority of the data suggests that observation is superior to early intervention with surgery or radiation and that it’s even superior to active surveillance,” Wilt added. “It allowed people to live longer, live better and less expensively.”

If you are a member of NaturalCures,  our newly-revised Prostate Cancer Natural Cure is available FREE now. It includes help for following a special diet, as well as supplement recommendations such as Vitamins A and B3 and magnesium.

Saw_PalmettoThe herb Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is also highly recommended because of its ability to inhibit testosterone conversion into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Too much DHT in the body has been linked to various men’s health problems, including prostate cancer. This herbs also helps to decrease swelling of prostate tissue, and provide increased blood and oxygen flow to the prostate.

Make sure you get your saw palmetto supplement today. Simply click here to order!

To get your copy of the Prostate Cancer Natural Cure, simply email our customer services team at support@naturalcures.com

 
Remember to always consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before embarking on any treatment, it’s your health and it’s IMPORTANT. Disclaimer

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NaturalCures.com provides you with natural, non-drug and non-surgical ways to cure and prevent virtually every disease. We provide worldwide information on health, nutrition and natural remedies. In the Natural Cures Health Blog you will find articles from leading experts discussing the latest hot topics and providing friendly advice on how you can live a healthier, happier life! Congratulations on taking the first step towards a healthier future. NaturalCures.com Team

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NaturalCures.com provides you with natural, non-drug and non-surgical ways to cure and prevent virtually every disease. We provide worldwide information on health, nutrition and natural remedies. In the Natural Cures Health Blog you will find articles from leading experts discussing the latest hot topics and providing friendly advice on how you can live a healthier, happier life! Congratulations on taking the first step towards a healthier future. NaturalCures.com Team

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