Long-term research has shown that regularly monitoring localized prostate cancer is a secure substitute for immediate surgery or radiation treatment.
According to Dr. Stacy Loeb, a specialist in prostate cancer at NYU Langone Health who was not involved in the study, the results, which were made public on Saturday, are hopeful for men who want to avoid treatment-related sexual and incontinence issues.
The three methods—surgery to remove malignancies, radiation therapy, and monitoring—were directly compared in the study.
Since most prostate cancers have a slow growth rate, examining the disease’s results takes a long time.
According to Loeb, there was no change in the 15-year prostate cancer mortality rates across the groups.
Also, regardless of the therapy method, all three groups had high rates of prostate cancer survival (97%). That’s also really encouraging news.
The findings were presented at a European Association of Urology conference in Milan, Italy, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Saturday.
The study’s funding came from Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Research.
Lead researcher Dr. Freddie Hamdy of the University of Oxford advised individuals diagnosed with localized prostate cancer not to panic or rush treatment choices.
They should “seriously assess the potential advantages and hazards produced by the therapy options” instead.
He stated that a tiny percentage of men with high-risk or more advanced diseases require urgent therapies.
More than 1,600 U.K. participants were studied. Guys consented to receive surgery, radiotherapy, or active monitoring at random.
The prostate, a walnut-sized gland component of the reproductive system, was the only site of the patient’s cancer. Men in the monitoring group underwent routine blood exams; some underwent radiation or surgery.
3.1% of men in the active-monitoring group, 2.2% of men who underwent surgery, and 2.9% of men who received radiation died from prostate cancer; these variations were deemed statistically insignificant.
At 15 years, cancer had spread in 9.4% of the group receiving active monitoring, 4.7% of the group receiving surgery, and 5% receiving radiation.
Experts claimed that since the study began in 1999, monitoring procedures have improved thanks to MRI imaging and gene tests.
Loeb added, “We now have more ways to detect if the disease is advancing before it spreads. Almost 60% of low-risk patients in the US opt for monitoring, also known as active surveillance.
According to Hamdy, the researchers observed the difference in cancer spread at ten years, and they anticipated it to impact survival at 15 years, “but it did not.
This is a brand-new and intriguing discovery that will be helpful to guys as they choose their treatments, he said.