More Men With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Are Forgoing Treatment
More men with low-risk prostate cancer are forgoing treatment to instead watch and wait to see whether their cancer progresses -- and experts say that's a good thing.
Among men with low-risk prostate cancer in the United States, 42.1% used the watch-and-wait approach, also called "active surveillance," in 2015, up from 14.5% in 2010, according to a study published in the medical journal JAMA on Monday.
Compared with high-risk or intermediate-risk, low-risk prostate cancer tends to grow very slowly or not at all, which is why "active surveillance" can be considered as an alternative to treatment options such as surgery or radiation therapy. Surgery and radiotherapy can come with some side effects, including a higher risk of erection problems or accidental urine or stool leakage.