Researchers from University of Oxford and University of Bristol have published the result of their studies in the New England Journal of Medicine. They have revealed that there is a 99 percent survival rate for prostate cancer patients within the first 10 years after the initial diagnosis. The catch is that this applies to whatever kind of treatment received.
How The Studies Were Conducted?
According to The Washington Post, the researchers had about 1,600 subjects diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. The study required the patients to be divided into three groups.
Some were randomly selected to undergo surgery for a radical prostatectomy, or the removal of the prostate. The other patients were treated with radiation. The rest of the patients received active monitoring. They were all observed for 10 years.
Based off of their observations and studies researchers determine the mortality rate. The first study looked at the progression of cancer. The second study focused on the effect of those treatments on the patients.
The Effect Of The Treatments On Survival Rate
The survival rate was the same for all those treatments. Still, there were obvious differences. Surgery and radiation cut half the risk for the disease to spread. It means that metastatic disease is less likely to develop. In addition, the cancer's progression was also reduced.
But the setback with these two treatments lies on its side effects. The researchers found out that the treatments could cause sexual dysfunction, incontinence and bowel problems. Thus, it will affect the life quality of the patient.
According to Statnews, Dr. Peter Albertsen of the University of Connecticut Heath has said that there is no business in treating low-grade prostate cancer with a life expectancy of fewer than 15 years. He added that the side effects of surgery and radiation outweigh any benefits.
Freddie Hamdy, the lead researcher, mentioned that patients should not rush to receive treatment. Instead, they should consider the effects of the treatment. Then, they could choose what suits their lifestyle best.
Chief Medical Officer Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society added that there is an increased number of men in the US who prefer monitoring as a treatment.
The Mortality Of Prostate Cancer Patients
Despite the good news of a high survival rate, mortality is still possible. 26,000 out of the 180,000 men in the U.S. will die this year from prostate cancer. Doctors admit that they still don't know which cases can be lethal.
Brawley admitted that the study may take 20 or 25 years. This is to see the survival improvements from the treatments. Until then, he said that there's no certainty whether one treatment has an advantage over the other.