Expectant Management Underused for Veterans, Study Finds

Posted by Prostate Seed Institute on January 12th, 2016

For thousands of men diagnosed with prostate cancer, hearing the news can be devastating. Courtesy of this form of cancer’s often slow-growing rate, however, many will discover they can avoid the need for aggressive treatments by taking an active approach to surveillance. Also known as expectant management, this option keeps the tumor under heavy watch while sparing some men from treatments that may give rise to undesirable side effects. While this option is gaining in popularity, researchers are finding that it might be underused in the veteran community.

Those findings were brought to light in a study that was recently published in the journal Cancer. Researchers took a look at the treatments provided to veterans with early-stage prostate cancer and found that patient age and tumor risk were more associated with the use of expectant management than patient comorbidity. All told, only 27 percent of patients under age 55 received this approach to treatment while 40 percent of men age 75 or older underwent expectant management. Researchers say that the use of expectant management is underutilized.

Expectant management is considered a viable treatment option for men whose cancer is considered low risk. Since many forms of prostate cancer are considered relatively slow growing, it is possible for men to avoid more aggressive treatments by taking this approach. The idea behind it is that by simply watching the cancer to enable action if and when it is required can enable men to live relatively normal lives, co-existing with their tumors. The option can potentially help men avoid such treatment side effects as incontinence and impotence.

Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. Active surveillance may prove to be the only action required for those with slow-growing, low risks forms of prostate cancer. The best treatment option, however, will depend on the individual case.

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Dr. Echt and his team at the Prostate Seed Institute offer the most highly sophisticated methods of radiation therapy available in the United States, equal to that found in major medical center and academic settings. These include prostate seed implantation, high dose radiation implants, and external beam radiation with image-guided and intensity-modulated (IGRT and IMRT) capabilities.

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Prostate Seed Institute
Joined: September 17th, 2015
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