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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Prostate cancer delay safe

6th March 2006

Details of research appearing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that delaying surgery on small, low-grade prostate tumours does not increase the risk of the disease progressing to an incurable form.

A team from Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University found it can be safe to delay surgery. The risk of noncurable prostate cancer was the same for men waiting two years for surgery as for those who had surgery immediately. For those men diagnosed with early-stage, low-grade prostate cancer, an alternative to immediate surgical treatment would be careful surveillance.The team is now studying blood and tissue samples to try to determine what might put patients at risk while they are being monitored.
Men screened for prostate cancer with the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test are on average diagnosed with the cancer 10 years earlier than men not undergoing PSA screening. Early diagnosis may help cut some patients' risk of dying from the disease, but it can also lead to invasive treatments of a cancer that may never present a health risk to the patient.

Dr Kat Arney, of charity Cancer Research UK says it is important for individual prostate cancer patients to discuss all the options with their doctor.


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