Study: Early Prostate Cancer Treatment Increases Survival

By Dennis Douda, WCCO-TV

— Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. Fortunately, a new study is giving patients some hope.

The new study came out Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. It shows being aggressive in treatment early on can be a very good thing.

In the study, researchers looked at more than 600 men over a 15-year period.

One group took the wait and see approach, while the other group had surgery right away to remove the prostate.

Those who had surgery reduced their chances of death by 25 percent. Those men were also 60 percent less likely to have the cancer spread to other parts of the body.

“A landmark study,” said Dr. Herbert Lepor of the Langone Medical Center at NYU. “We now know, with great confidence, there is significant benefit as far as your overall survival if you choose radical prostatectomy.”

The reason some doctors recommend watchful waiting is because prostate cancer grows so slowly and surgery comes with some pretty big risks. Problems with incontinence and sexual dysfunction can happen.

  • Mike

    I had my prostate removed at 51 years old when they discovered cancer after my first PSA test and a biopsy that showed elevated levels. Two doctors recommended removal and one, watch and wait. The cancer was a stage 2 and had not spread into other areas. I am currently 56 and all tests to date show no signs of recurrence. I did not have any issues with sexual function, but a small amount of incontinence, when I am jog. I am very active and am not the least disappointed that I did it. My surgery was laproscopic and I was out of the hospital in 24 hours. The worst part of the surgery was the catheter I was required to wear for 7 days and also the most uncomfortable part of the procedure.

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  • Jay Gildemeister

    I feel the story as presented had only 2 options. Surgery or wait. This is incorrect and mis-leading. Another option is treating with radiation (seed implants and raidiology) I can speak from persnal experience that this option does work as I experienced this process over 5 years ago. Now prostrate cancer free with no measuratble PSA. This option is less-evasive, successful and certainly beats “watch and wait.

  • brenda

    I agree with the previous comment. My husband will be receiving Proton Beam Therapy at Loma Linda University Medical Center (southern CA). At his age, 78, and with a Gleason scale of 4 + 4 = 8, wait and see is not an option. Surgery can be very invasive with lasting side effects. Do your own research when looking for treatments, but for goodness sake, you much check on proton beam.

  • brenda

    me again. I failed to tell you my husband started on Lupron, a hormonal therapy which reduces testerone (which is a cancer-grown medium). The cancer cells are starved — cancer is still present, but less aggressive. This is hard to believe, but it’s true: his PSA was 1060!!! and within 6 weeks of the Lupron shot, it was 10. Doc. was amazed!! We’re still in the learning stage, but glad he started with the hormonal treatment while researching other viable options. Once you start your own research, you’ll find all kinds of informative information , which will allow you make wise decisions.

  • Rick

    There are several options for men with prostate cancer. More airtime should be spent on subjects with real news content. Of course, I don’t think any issue is covered until a celebrity is involved.

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