Patients with low risk prostate cancer on active surveillance experience good quality of life

From Elsevier Health Sciences:

New York, NY, July 25, 2016 – Active surveillance (AS) has become an increasingly important alternative to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment for men diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer. However, what is the impact of AS on health related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients selected or opting for this conservative form of disease management? New research published in The Journal of Urology® found that patients on AS who were tracked for three years experienced similar HRQoL as men without prostate cancer, both clinically and psychologically.

The majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have low risk disease and face a difficult decision between having the disease managed conservatively through AS or undergoing definitive therapy. These results can help guide physicians and patients through this decision-making process.

“To our knowledge this is the first report of HRQoL outcomes of men on AS for prostate cancer compared to men without prostate cancer in a prospective, multi-institutional study,” explained lead investigator Christopher R. Porter, MD, FACS, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. “The potential clinical impact of these results is significant and will allow clinicians to counsel patients effectively in regard to the potential HRQoL outcomes associated with AS.”

Although the lifetime risk of a prostate cancer diagnosis is about 1 in 6, the lifetime risk of death from the disease is 1 in 30. Management of low risk prostate cancer with AS appears feasible and safe, yet most men in the U.S. with low risk disease still undergo definitive therapies such as radical prostatectomy, which carry the burden of urinary, bowel, and sexual dysfunction that can be avoided, or at the very least postponed, with management on AS.

Using data compiled from four military medical centers participating in the Center for Prostate Disease Research Multicenter National Database, researchers analyzed patient-reported HRQoL using validated …

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