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Age, Other Illnesses May Make Prostate Cancer Treatment Unnecessary
Date:5/21/2013

s 71 percent and their 14-year risk of dying from prostate cancer was only 7 percent.

"This was a great opportunity to get a glimpse at the long-term outcomes of these men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the mid-1990s," Daskivich said, and "the risk of dying from their cancer paled in comparison to the risk that they'd die from something else."

His advice: "If you're very unlikely to benefit from treatment, then don't run the risk and end up dealing with side effects that can significantly impact quality of life. It's important for these men to talk to their doctors about the possibility of forgoing aggressive treatment. We're not talking about restricting care, but the patient should be fully informed about their likelihood of surviving long enough to benefit from treatment."

The study authors pointed out it may take eight to 10 years for the survival benefits of treatment to emerge. In many cases, they said, closely monitoring prostate cancer is better than treating the disease as aggressively as possible.

The researchers noted however that men with high-risk forms of prostate cancer may still benefit from aggressive treatment. The study found that older men's 14-year risk of death from high-risk prostate cancer was 18 percent.

According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, in 2013 nearly 240,000 American men are expected to develop prostate cancer.

The study was published online on May 21 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute provides more information on prostate cancer.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles, news release, May 20, 2013.


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