PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENTS EQUAL in EFFECTIVENESS!
STUDIES show RADIATION versus SURGERY versus DOING NOTHING= "watchful waiting" are all EQUAL in their EFFECTIVENESS!
While tumors were more likely to grow and spread in men who got no treatment compared to those who did, it was still rare, and it was even more rare for men to die from prostate cancer. Out of 1,600 men who took part in the 10-year study, just 17 died of prostate cancer, the researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"What we have learnt from this study so far is that prostate cancer detected by PSA blood test grows very slowly, and very few men die of it when followed up over a period of 10 years — around 1 percent — irrespective of the treatment assigned. This is considerably lower than anticipated when we started the study," Researchers say. "
"Men with low-risk or intermediate-risk prostate cancer should feel free to select a treatment approach using the data on health-related quality of life and without fear of possibly selecting a less effective cancer therapy," Dr. D'Amico, Harvard, wrote in a commentary.
The team also asked the men about side-effects. The prostate is in a delicate area and both surgery and radiation treatment can damage the tissues nearby, affecting sexual function and the ability to control urination and the bowels.
Radiation affected sexual function for the first six months and did not affect continence, they found.
After six years, twice as many men in the group who got surgery still complained of urine leakage and problems with their sex life. Radiation therapy caused more bowel problems than surgery or active monitoring.
"Watchful" part of the "watchful waiting" approach is key- only treating when absolutely necessary to avoid the unnecessary side effects.