Study finds upsurge in 'active surveillance' for low-risk prostate cancer
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VIDEO: Brandon Mahal, MD from the department of radiation oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center explains research findings on conservative management for low-risk prostate cancer. view more 

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Many men with low-risk prostate cancer who most likely previously would have undergone immediate surgery or radiation are now adopting a more conservative “active surveillance” strategy, according to an analysis of a new federal database by scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The use of active surveillance increased from 14.5 percent to 42.1 percent of men with low-risk prostate cancer between 2010 and 2015, said the researchers, led by Brandon Mahal, MD, from the department of radiation oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center who led the study published by JAMA.

During that same period, the percentage of men undergoing radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland) declined from 47.4 percent to 31.3 percent. The use of radiotherapy for low-risk disease dropped from 38.0 percent to 26.6 percent.

“What we know from high level evidence is that conservative management of low-risk prostate cancer is associated with a very favorable prognosis,” said Mahal. “Many men with low-risk disease are able to be spared the toxicity of treatment so it’s an important discussion to have

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