Fascinating report suggesting that low grade prostate cancer tends not to progress over time according to researchers in the US.
Looking at cancer tissues taken from more than 1,200 prostate cancer patients between 1982 and 2004, the researchers found – surprisingly, they said – that the low-grade cancers invariably remained as such. They found a moderate drop in high so-called ‘Gleason grade’ cancers but felt this was not that screening had prevented progression of the disease, but more that there was an increased diagnosis of low-grade disease that would not have been detected without PSA screening. In other words, more men were screened, more men had low grade cancer scores and fewer than expected progressed to aggressive grades.
The researchers concluded that, if low grade cancer is detected, the ‘watch and see’ sort of approach is probably best since it is unlikely to progress and intervention can cause more harm than good:
“Radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy, the usual treatments for prostate cancer, can have negative side effects such as impotence and incontinence; choosing active surveillance could prevent this decline in quality of life,”
“Men with low-grade disease at diagnosis should seriously consider talking with their doctors about active surveillance.”
You can read the study abstract, published in the Journal of Cancer Research, here:
and a useful report in Nutrition Review here:
- Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness May Not Change With Time, Study Suggests (huffingtonpost.com)