August 3, 2017 – Long Term
Anchor lead: What can 20 years of follow up tell us about low risk prostate cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Men who have low risk prostate cancer really don’t need to have their prostate gland removed, a study with almost 20 years of follow up published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown. Ballantine Carter, a prostate cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the findings.
Carter: Overall the study demonstrates very clearly what we already know, that men who don’t have aggressive cancer should be monitored, with what today we refer to as active surveillance. It also demonstrates that there are some men who can benefit from surgery. And those are men with more aggressive disease. So I think the take home message from this trial is if you get diagnosed with what we refer to as a low grade or low risk prostate cancer, then the first thing you should be asking is do I need to be treated? :30
Carter says the study also confirmed the risks of prostate removal, including sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.