for prostate cancer patients

2010-Jun-3,02:07

Prostate cancer patients who choose surgery have longer survival rate than those who refuse the treatment, a study shows.

"Surgery has been shown to offer a survival advantage to patients with prostate cancer when compared with other treatment options," said study lead author Naveen Pokala, M.D., an urologist at Henry Ford Hospital.

The study findings were presented on Tuesday at the ongoing annual meeting of the American Urology Association in San Francisco.

The findings show that men who refuse surgery for prostate cancer and instead opt for "watchful waiting" - monitoring cancer progression without undergoing treatment - have a significantly worse long-term survival rate than those patients that choose radiotherapy.

A 10-year overall survival rate is 51 percent for patients who refused any treatment for their prostate cancer, compared to 68 percent for those who chose radiation treatment, according to the study. The research, a population-based analysis of 9,704 patients chosen from the National SEER database, looked at survival rates among men with a mean age of 64.4 years, of whom 77 percent were white and 16.4 percent black.

Of that group, nearly 30 percent refused any treatment for their prostate cancers, and about 70 percent chose radiation therapy.

Within the group, six percent had well-differentiated cancers, 75 percent moderately differentiated cancers, and 18 percent had poorly differentiated cancer.

More than 70 percent of the patients were unmarried. In all, African American men older than 65 had the worst prognosis.

An earlier study published in 2009 showed that surgery improves 5-, 10- and 15-year survival rates for men younger than 50 with moderately and especially in poorly differentiated prostate cancers, when compared with other standard treatments such as radiation therapy or watchful waiting.

Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer in American men, affecting one in six during his lifetime. The majority of the cases are in men older than 65, but it is becoming more prevalent in men under 40.

It affects black men twice as often as whites, and their mortality rate is also twice as high.

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