Younger men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer may do well to consider surgery over so-called ”watchful waiting,“ a new study shows.
The new research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is unlikely to end the long-running debate in the medical community over if and when surgery to remove the prostate is needed - particularly since the men in the study were diagnosed before the sensitive prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test was widely implemented to detect prostate cancer in its early stages, ABC News reported.
The findings are the latest to come out of a 23-year-long, ongoing study comparing radical prostatectomy versus watchful waiting in 695 men who had been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. Researchers randomly assigned these men to either receive prostatectomy or not. The study found that those younger than 65 who underwent surgery to remove their prostates had a 15.8 percent lower risk of dying from prostate cancer than patients who had not had surgery.
They also had a 25.5 percent lower risk of dying from any cause, as well as a 15.8 percent lower risk of the disease having spreading to other organs. ”Our results suggest that surgery may be more beneficial to younger men,“ said study author Jennifer Rider, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard University School of Public Health.
Rider added that the men under 65 who had their prostates removed were also less likely to need radiation or chemotherapy.