09 August 2016

By Dr Wendy Winnall - PCFA Research Team

Burden of Untreated Cancer

Many men diagnosed with prostate cancer will have a low risk form of the disease that may not cause them harm, or take many years to progress. Management of this disease by active surveillance is becoming more popular. Despite studies that show that active surveillance is safe and feasible, most men with low risk prostate cancer choose to have immediate treatment. We know that many men would benefit from active surveillance without great risk, but the studies that addressed this risk measured side effects and survival rates. However, these are not the only issues that affect a person's quality of life. An important question is how do men cope, knowing they have a cancer growing inside them that is not being treated? Does the burden of an untreated cancer outweigh the benefits of active surveillance?

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