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Older, sicker men with early-stage prostate cancer do not benefit from aggressive treatment
Date:5/12/2014

online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Cancer.

"In the past, we've relied on the basic argument that older and sicker men are much more likely to die of other things besides their prostate cancer that exposing them to aggressive treatment and its debilitating side effects is a poor gamble," Daskivich said. "Now we've shown that aggressive treatment of these men is ineffective. This information will help these men better maximize the quality of their remaining years."

Daskivich said that prostate cancer patients who have several comorbid conditions could use these findings to decide whether or not to treat their disease.

"These findings will also benefit the doctors who are trying to counsel these men on whether or not they should receive treatment," he said. "The guidelines suggest the men with life expectancies of less than 10 years shouldn't be treated aggressively, but life expectancy is difficult to measure accurately. This data clearly defines a subset of patients who should avoid therapies that will only cause them problems they don't already have."

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men aside from skin cancer. An estimated 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will occur in the United States in 2014. Of those, nearly 30,000 men will die. For reasons that remain unclear, incidence rates are about 60% higher in African Americans.

"Aggressive treatment of men with multiple major comorbidities poses both an unnecessary health hazard to these men and an undue burden on our overtaxed health care system," the study states. "Because all aggressive local treatments for prostate cancer may confer side effects that can substantially affect quality of life, aggressive treatment of men who are unlikely to benefit often creates new health problems impotence, urinary incontinence, bowel dysfunction while not achieving the primary objective of increasing cancer-specific survival."


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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2262
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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Older, sicker men with early-stage prostate cancer do not benefit from aggressive treatment
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