Low-risk cancers are treated aggressively

Prostate CancerA new study has revealed that men often go through aggressive treatment that leads to radiation therapy or complete removal of prostate despite having low-risk prostate cancer.

This totals to about 75 per cent of men.

Level of prostate-specific antigen PSA, one of the factors taken into account when treatment decisions are made, has to be more than 4 nanograms per millimeter for getting worried but men with lower than this also have taken aggressive treatments.

researcher Mark N. Stein, MD, a medical oncologist at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and assistant professor of medicine at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, said, ''If we knew for sure everyone with a PSA under 4 would not die of prostate cancer, case closed."

But according to Stein it is not so. He says that because the case is not so, managing a balance between undertreatment and overtreatment gets difficult.

Stein and his colleagues stated, "There have been concerns about the potential overdiagnosis and overtreatment of localized prostate cancer."

Stuart Holden, MD, medical director of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and head of the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles said the reason for low-risk getting aggressive treatment is lack of knowledge in experts.