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Prostate Cancer: New Study Warns Against Treatment for Older Men

By    |   Tuesday, 13 May 2014 05:55 PM

Treating older men who have early-stage prostate cancer and other underlying health problems with surgery or radiation may do more harm than good, new research shows.

The study, led by researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles and published in the journal Cancer, found most forms of the disease are slow-growing in older men and are not likely to be life-threatening. But aggressive treatment can cause serious side effects, while not significantly adding to their life expectancy, Medical News Today reports.

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The latest study, led by Timothy Daskivich, a UCLA Robert Wood Johnson fellow, noted that an estimated 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2014, and nearly 30,000 men will die of it.
For the new study, the UCLA researchers followed 140,553 men, 66 years of age or older, with early-stage prostate cancer who were diagnosed between 1991-2007.
Overall, the results showed that men who also dealt with major medical conditions – including heart attack, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes – did not live any longer after receiving aggressive treatment, compared with those who received no treatment.
But the researchers found these men were at risk for other side effects, including impotence, urinary incontinence, and bowel problems as a result of surgery or radiation.
"In the past, we've relied on the basic argument that older and sicker men are much more likely to die of other things besides their prostate cancer that exposing them to aggressive treatment, and its debilitating side effects is a poor gamble,” Daskivich said. “Now we've shown that aggressive treatment of these men is ineffective. This information will help these men better maximize the quality of their remaining years."

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New UCLA research warns against aggressively treating older men who have early-stage prostate cancer and other underlying health problems. Sugery or radiation may do more harm than good.
prostate, cancer, treatment, side, effects
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 05:55 PM
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