Most men with prostate cancer can avoid treatment without affecting survival: Study

U.K. researchers found most men with prostate cancer can delay or avoid treatments without harming their chances of survival, CNN reported March 11.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed 1,643 men between 50 and 69. Men were randomly assigned to three treatment groups: active monitoring, prostatectomy or radiotherapy. After a median of 15 years, researchers found prostate cancer-specific mortality was low regardless of treatment.

Researchers found that for men with low- to intermediate-risk tumors, active monitoring is an effective course of treatment. It "slashed their risk of the life-altering complications such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction that can follow aggressive treatment for the disease, but they were no more likely to die of their cancers than men who had surgery to remove their prostate or who were treated with hormone blockers and radiation," CNN reported.

CNN noted that the findings don't apply to men with aggressive prostate cancer, which makes up about 15 percent of cases, because most study participants were in the early stages of cancer and mostly low risk.

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