New research from the United Kingdom has found that most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer can delay or avoid harsh treatments without harming their chances of survival. This conclusion was drawn from the results of a long-running study that showed men who opted for a strategy called surveillance or active monitoring, which involved partnering with their doctors to closely monitor their low-to-intermediate-risk prostate tumors, were able to lower their risk of developing life-altering complications such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction that often follow aggressive treatment for the disease.
Although active monitoring was shown to be effective in reducing the risk of complications, the study found that men who opted for this approach were no more likely to die of their cancers than those who had surgery to remove their prostate or were treated with hormone blockers and radiation.
The study involved over 1,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2012 and 2017, and its findings provide new evidence that surveillance can be a safe and effective alternative to aggressive treatments. The study also highlighted the importance of discussing treatment options with a doctor and taking into account individual factors such as age, overall health, and personal preferences.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide, with over one million cases diagnosed each year. It is a slow-growing cancer, and while early detection is important, not all men require immediate treatment. Active surveillance has become an increasingly popular approach to managing the disease, particularly for men with low-to-intermediate-risk tumors, as it avoids the side effects and complications associated with more aggressive treatments.
The results of this study offer hope for men diagnosed with prostate cancer and highlight the importance of personalized treatment plans that take individual circumstances into account. Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should discuss their options with their doctors to make an informed decision about the best course of action for them. By opting for surveillance or active monitoring, men may be able to avoid the harmful side effects associated with aggressive treatments without compromising their chances of survival.
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