Active surveillance for prostate cancer improves male quality of life

14th March

By opting for ongoing monitoring instead of surgery or radiotherapy, men with low-risk prostate cancer could enjoy an improved quality of life (QoL).

The European Association of Urology has said that the QoL is practically the same as for men who don't have cancer and are healthy.

These findings come from a new long-term study that compares active surveillance with immediate curative treatment and have referred to a group of men without cancer.

In males, prostate cancer is the most common form, as around 400,000 new cases present themselves every year throughout Europe.

The most popular form of treatment is surgery - radical prostatectomy - or radiotherapy; however, both can cause distressing side effects, such as incontinence, or erectile dysfunction.

For this study, the QoL was followed for 427 patients aged between 66-69 who were diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer and were followed up for between five to ten years after their initial diagnosis. A total of 121 of these patients chose active surveillance, 74 had surgery and 232 had radiotherapy.

Those patients who had received active surveillance reported much higher QoL scores than the men who had undergone surgery.

Posted by Philip Briggs

 

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