BOSTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The best option for men with low-risk, clinically localized prostate cancer may be active surveillance, a U.S. doctor said.
Dr. Julia Hayes of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston has suggested active surveillance -- a strategy of close monitoring that includes prostate-specific antigen measurements, digital rectal exams and biopsies -- may offer these patients better quality-of-life.
However, Hayes stressed optimal strategy depends on an individual's preferences and the decision to pursue active surveillance must be individualized. This requires helping patients and caregivers estimate the risks and potential benefits of active surveillance beforehand.
Hayes led a study comparing the risks and benefits of four initial treatments for men age 65 and older diagnosed with low-risk localized prostate cancer -- internal radiation therapy called brachytherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, removal of the prostate and active surveillance.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded active surveillance -- with intensity-modulated radiation therapy in case of progression -- gave the highest quality-adjusted life expectancy.
"Brachytherapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy were less effective at 10.57 and 10.51 quality-of-life years, respectively. Radical prostatectomy was the least effective treatment, yielding 10.23," the study authors said in a statement.