When men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the first reaction is often to seek aggressive treatment. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests, however, that active surveillance may be a better choice for many men 65 years old or over. Nearly 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S. each year. Most of these men have low-risk tumors that may not require treatment.
In active surveillance, the man is monitored closely to make sure the disease is not progressing. If it starts to do so, the man is referred for treatment. Most men don’t think of the consequences of treatment, but it can have serious impacts on the quality of life. In this analysis, the best quality of life for the longest time was provided under active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer.
[JAMA, Dec. 1, 2010]