A study that was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine has doctors divided. The study consisted of 731 men with the average age of 67, with only 10 percent under the age of 60, the implications for younger men who have more potential years ahead of them are less certain, experts noted. Researchers divided the group of men in half. Half of the men were assigned to have surgery, while the other half were assigned to watchful waiting. The group that was being observed had PSA testing every six months and every five years they did a bone scan to check for tumor spread. After 12 years, 47% of men who was treated with surgery died, compared to 49.9% of the men who were assigned to watchful waiting. There is not a significant difference between both options.
Based on their findings, Dr. Timothy Wilt, lead author on the study, stated that “observation is a wise and right decision for men with prostate cancer detected by PSA.” The article also stated that Dr. Wilt said his study agreed with the recent recommendation by the United Stated Preventative Services Task Force that PSA testing should not be used for young healthy men.
CPC encourages men to consult with their physicians and to get all of the facts, treatment options and make an educated decision that will benefit the patient.