According to the study, as the use of active surveillance increased between 2010 and 2015, it became the most common approach to treating low-risk prostate cancer.
"In general, these numbers are a good sign and a good thing," he said. "From 2010 to 2015, there have been many new tests, the highest level of evidence we can obtain in medicine, which are prospective trials and some of them randomized trials, which have shown that active surveillance, conservative approaches or not approaches of low-risk prostate cancer treatment have very favorable results. "
& # 39; This study is really the point of reference & # 39;
Among men with intermediate-risk disease, between 2010 and 2015, active surveillance increased from 5.8% to 9.6%; Prostatectomy decreased from 51.8% to 50.6%; The researchers found that radiotherapy went from 42.4% to 39.8%.
Among men with high-risk disease, active surveillance remained almost unchanged, from 1.9% to 2.2%; Prostatectomy increased from 38% to 42.8%; The researchers found that radiation therapy decreased from 60.1% to 55%.
The study had some limitations, including the fact that it analyzed trends only within a period of five years. More research is needed to determine trends over a longer period of time and how those trends can affect public health. The study also lacked data on whether patients actually complied with their doctors' orders about active surveillance or other management approaches.
However, in general, "this study is really the benchmark for surveillance rates in the United States," said Mahal.
"There were other studies that examined the same question and found increasing rates, but those studies were done with smaller databases or with databases that did not collect this type of information," he said. "In addition, it is important to follow these trends to know with certainty what are the rates of administration in the US, and also to know in the population, what patients do in active surveillance."
& # 39; A major change in medical practice & # 39;
"For anyone in the low-risk prostate cancer category, what we now know is that the prognosis is pretty good even without any treatment," said Loeb, who was not involved in the new research but was the first author of the study. from last year.
When it comes to radiation or prostatectomy, "these treatment options have potential side effects, such as the impact on erectile function, urination and, in some cases, bowel function," he said. "Therefore, it is an attractive option for men to control cancer and then receive delayed treatment as needed, if it appears over time that the cancer is becoming more aggressive."
"We have really come a long way to try to better understand how to detect prostate cancer and, once we detect prostate cancer, what is the best way to treat that prostate cancer and understand that not all men need to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. excise or radiate your prostate. "Lichtenfeld said.
"That does not mean they may never need radiation or surgery, the main objective of observing these men is to find out if prostate cancer changes its behavior over time, if it becomes more aggressive, then treat those who really need it." . "he said." That's a major change in medical practice. "