Is It Preferable To Go For Watchful Waiting or Treatments For Prostate Cancer?

November 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

The above questions just popped up online in a column of Ask Dr. H in Philly.com. Many men that have just being diagnosed with cancer of the prostate could still want to know what option to take so as to improve their quality of life aftermath of discovery that they have this type of cancer.

Watching prostate cancer means that the doctor will place you on active surveillance without administrating any treatment. From time to time, tests would be carried out to know the level of or progression of the prostate. Another popular word for this is “watchful waiting”.

Prostate cancer is a disease which results in the growth of malignant tumor from the prostate gland. This condition can progress and affect vital organs in other parts of the body. Early detection of this condition is often advisable so as to handle the treatment well.

Many doctors or urologists will often advise patients to closely watch the growth of the cancer, especially when it has been discovered that this type of cancer is slow growing and may really not cause any symptom in most men until after several years. The importance of watchful waiting is also emphasized in the sense that is helps to avoid the risk of impotency and urinary incontinence that could occur after a surgical removal of the prostate is carried out.

In the said article posted by Mitchel Hecht on November 26, 2012, the answer for the question asked by concerned patients as to whether to opt for treatments or to accepts the urologist’s proposal of active surveillance included this excerpt:

The downsides are the uncertainty of the disease course and the anxiety of living with prostate cancer. Even though treatments such as nerve-sparing prostate surgery, prostate radiation seeding, and freezing have a lower risk of incontinence and impotence than the traditional radical prostate removal procedure, there’s still a risk of causing more harm than if the doctor watched an early prostate cancer closely and intervened as necessary.

A recent study published in the journal European Urology supports the active surveillance approach. It analyzed 968 men (median age 65.4 years) diagnosed with prostate cancer, 440 of whom agreed to active surveillance as their treatment strategy. Most had low-risk tumors, but there were some with intermediate- or high-risk tumors.

Finally, the article concluded that certain men may not be the right candidate for cancer of the prostate — these include younger men and those with advanced stage cancer of the prostate. It is still advisable to consult with your doctor so as to check out the best possible treatment.

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