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Thursday, March 06, 2014

And the prostate cancer treatment debate continues.


Surgery Linked To Better Survival In Patients With Early Prostate Cancer.

The Wall Street Journal (3/6, A2, Whalen, Subscription Publication) reports that research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that for patients with early-stage prostate cancer, surgery to remove the prostate may be linked to better survival than watchful waiting.

        The Los Angeles Times (3/6, Kaplan) “Science Now” blog reports that the nearly 700 “men in the Scandinavian Prostate Cancer Group Study Number 4 all hailed from Sweden, Finland or Iceland, and all had localized tumors.”

        The AP (3/6, Marchione) reports that “half were given surgery to remove their prostates and the rest were closely monitored and given surgery only if symptoms or signs of cancer worsened.”

        On its website, CNN (3/6, Hellerman) reports, “On average,” participants “who underwent immediate surgery lived longer, were less likely to see the cancer spread and had fewer complications from the disease.” The data indicated that “the longevity benefit was greatest for men in their 50s and early 60s, where over an 18-year period, surgery cut the death rate by more than a third.”

        The Boston Globe (3/6, Kotz) points out that these findings seem “to contradict what other researchers found in a 2012 trial of US patients: men with early-stage prostate cancer, regardless of their age, received no life- extending benefit from immediate surgery instead of monitori