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Some Men Regret Prostate Cancer Treatment Decisions

Aug 28, 2017

Another option is active surveillance - monitoring the patient’s condition and providing treatment if it worsens or if symptoms become bothersome. This approach is sometimes called “watchful waiting.” While it may seem counterintuitive to not treat prostate cancer immediately after diagnosis, for some men, the cancer grows so slowly that the side effects of treatment could be more harmful than treating it on an as-needed basis.

The study included 946 men under the age of 75 who had been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer between October 1994 and October 1995. (Localized cancer means that cancerous cells had not spread beyond the prostate gland.) Each man completed a follow-up survey at least 15 years after his treatment.

The researchers found that almost 15% of the men had treatment regrets. This figure represented about 17% of the men who had had radiation, 15% of those who had undergone surgery, and 8% who had had conservative treatment like active surveillance.

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