HealthDay News — Mortality rates from localized prostate cancer are roughly the same over several years regardless of choosing watchful waiting or undergoing radiation or prostatectomy, according to research published online September 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Bristol in the United Kingdom randomly assigned 1,643 prostate cancer patients aged 50 to 69 to undergo one of three treatments: active surveillance, radiation, or prostatectomy. The team tracked the men for a median of 10 years.
The research team found that survival from localized prostate cancer was 98.8%, irrespective of the treatment assigned. However, the cancer spread in 33 of the 545 men in the monitoring group, compared to 13 of 553 in the surgery group and 16 of 545 in the radiation group. Seventeen of the men died of prostate cancer, but the study authors could find no significant differences in the mortality rates between the three groups.
“Patients and physicians now know from this study that there is no need to rush to make a decision about treatment if the patient has localized prostate cancer of a similar type to that studied here,” lead author Jenny Donovan, PhD, a professor of social medicine at the University of Bristol, told HealthDay. “There is a very good chance of survival — 99% at a median of 10 years — and this is the same for all the groups. This means there is time to consider and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the different treatment strategies.”