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Men with benign prostate cancer still get aggressive treatment
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Prostate cancer is relatively benign - and most men die with it, and not from it

Prostate cancer is relatively benign - and most men die with it, and not from it. Yet the vast majority of men who are diagnosed are having radical treatment, from radiation to having the prostate removed. Around 70 per cent of men with low PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels - which determines the ferocity and growth of the cancer - are going through the same aggressive treatment as men with high PSA scores above 20. Despite this over-treatment, many doctors want to lower the PSA score lower still - to 2.5 - which would mean many more men having unnecessary operations that affect the quality of life. Researchers from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey argue that the PSA score alone does not give sufficient data about the likely course of the cancer, and does not reveal whether the disease is active or dormant. As it is, the five-year survival rate with a prostate cancer that does not spread is 100 per cent, even without treatment. (Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170: 1256-61).

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