Prostate treatment not always needed

July 6, 2006

A Canadian urologist says younger men diagnosed with early prostate cancer may be able to live long lives without treatment.

Doctors call it active surveillance -- watching the cancer closely for signs of progression while delaying or even avoiding the sometimes debilitating effects of treatment -- The Los Angeles Times reported.

Dr. Laurence Klotz, urology professor at the University of Toronto, has studied 500 men over the past 10 years in an attempt to shed light on who needs treatment and who will live a long, healthy life without treatment.

Men who are good candidates for waiting are those with a PSA of less than 10 and a Gleason score of less than six. Follow-up monitoring includes a PSA test every three months and periodic repeat biopsies.

About one-third of the active surveillance group has gone on to have surgery or radiation, while the rest are still waiting and still healthy. In the entire group -- those remaining on active surveillance, and those treated after waiting -- there has been a 99 percent survival rate.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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