Several men who are suffering from mild to moderate prostate cancer can survive for longer periods with less aggressive treatments. The mortality rate among them is just 3% compared to other cancer patients, according to a recent study.
Men suffering from less severe localized prostate cancer could choose radiation or surgery, according to news gathered from US news websites today. The study focused on 1,600 males residing in the UK who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer for over 15 years. According to the findings, the mortality rate is 3% regardless of whether they underwent a prostatectomy, radiotherapy, or active monitoring.
A director of (the Genitourinary Malignancies Program) at Boston’s Massachusetts GHCC (General Hospital Cancer Center), Matthew Smith, said patients with early-stage prostate cancer just needed surveillance. He was involved in the study and said it is a landmark study involving prostate cancer patients.
31,600 men died of prostate cancer in the US in 2019
According to data gleaned from the CDCP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), around 31,600 patients suffering from prostate cancer died in the US in 2019. Prostate cancer is the second most cancer in the US after skin cancer. The study showed that 2% of men in the UK were non-white. Black men in the US were disproportionately affected by prostate cancer.
Patients who were routinely tested for an antigen specific to the prostate in the monitoring group experienced the spread of cancer compared to those who underwent intensive therapies. According to the findings of the researchers, death rates are common among men who underwent surgery, received radiation therapy, or were under regular surveillance.
A professor (of surgery and urology) at the University of Oxford, Dr. Freddie Hamdy, said everyone in the study expected an improved survival rate for men who underwent radical treatment, but it did not happen. It was a surprise for the team.
At the initial stage of the study, one-third of men were suffering from moderate prostate cancer and two-thirds from lower-risk prostate cancer. Initial results were published after a median of 10 years of collecting the data in 2016.
Patients were actively monitored throughout the study. The team conducted tests such as genomic testing of the blood or tissues, a screening test for prostate cancer, a biopsy depending on the need, and advanced imaging. Some of the patients in the group underwent surgery or radiation based on the referral.
Side effects of prostate cancer treatments
According to the most recent health news, those subjected to radical treatment could experience side effects like rectal pain, erectile dysfunction, bowel urgency, and urinary incontinence. The side effects of the treatment may vary with time for radiation, surgery, and monitoring. A professor of social medicine at the University of Bristol, Jenny Donovan, said men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer now can choose between the long-term and short-term benefits and the harm caused by the treatment options.
They need not worry about survival and should make informed decisions on the best treatment options. A urological oncologist, Behfar Ehdaie, said patients with intermediate and low-risk prostate cancer can seek active surveillance. He also went on to say that delaying radiation and surgery for these patients will offer a better quality of life.