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Most prostate cancer specialists don't recommend active surveillance for low-risk patients
Date:6/16/2014

June 16, 2014 Specialists who treat prostate cancer agree that active surveillance is an effective optionyet most don't recommend it when appropriate for their own patients, according to a study in the July issue of Medical Care . The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins , a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Rather, urologists are more likely to recommend surgery and radiation oncologists are more likely to recommend radiation therapythe treatments provided by their own specialties. "Given the growing concerns about the overtreatment of prostate cancer, our study has important policy implications about possible barriers to promoting active surveillance and specialty biases about optimal treatment regarding localized prostate cancer," comments Dr Simon P. Kim of Yale School of Medicine.

Most Prostate Specialists Rate Active Surveillance Effective

The researchers surveyed urologists and radiation oncologists regarding their views on options for "low-risk" prostate cancer. The study focused on perceptions of active surveillance as an initial approach.

Prostate cancer typically progresses slowlymost older men diagnosed with early-stage disease won't actually die of prostate cancer. For these low-risk cases, there's growing interest in active surveillance, in which patients are closely monitored for evidence of disease progression.

Active surveillance has emerged as an approach to avoid "overtreatment" of prostate cancer. In many cases, it can avoid surgery or radiation therapy that would entail a risk of complications and side effects without actually benefiting the patient.

Dr Kim and coauthors analyzed survey responses from 717 US urologists and radiation oncologists. Consistent with the research evidence, 72 percent of the specialists agreed that active sur
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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