Surgery May Be The Best Treatment

This especially applies, if men are younger or have cancers with certain tumour cell characteristics.

Prostate cancer treatments are still being debated because they have not yet been compared in a randomized trial, in which men would be randomly assigned to one treatment or another.

Arnaud Merglen, M.D., of Geneva University, Switzerland, and colleagues used data from the Geneva Cancer Registry to assess all 844 patients diagnosed with localized (not yet spread) prostate cancer in Geneva between 1989 and 1998. Of those men, 158 received prostatectomy, or surgery to remove all or part of the prostate; 205 had radiation treatment (radiotherapy); 378 chose watchful waiting, which entails active follow-up and treatment if the disease progresses; 72 underwent hormone therapy; and 31 had another type of therapy.

The average follow-up was 6.7 years (range zero to 15.8 years), and 47 patients (5.6 percent) left Geneva and the study before the study concluded.

“At 10 years, patients treated with radiotherapy or watchful waiting had a significantly increased risk of death from prostate cancer compared with patients who underwent prostatectomy,” the researchers explain. Ten-year survival rates from prostate cancer were 83 percent for prostatectomy, 75 percent for radiotherapy, 72 percent for watchful waiting, 41 percent for hormone therapy and 71 percent for other treatment.

“The increased mortality associated with radiotherapy and watchful waiting was primarily observed in patients younger than 70 years and in patients with poorly differentiated tumours,” or tumours that have certain cellular characteristics and are more likely to spread aggressively.; Source: American Medical Association (AMA)