Active surveillance of prostate cancer leads to improved quality of life

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the ONA take:

Prostate cancer is usually a slow-growing cancer. As a result, many men can opt to delay or avoid undergoing treatment. The process, referred to as active surveillance, allows men with prostate cancer to delay or avoid the side effects of its treatment as well.

Although the side effects of prostate cancer treatment can affect quality of life, the impact active surveillance has on quality of life is questionable. In this study, researchers found 10 previous studies that examined quality of life and other psychological issues related to men coping with prostate cancer.

The studies included 966 men with prostate cancer, all of whom chose active surveillance over aggressive treatment.

The results of this review show that quality of life scores for men who chose active surveillance were similar to the scores for men who chose surgery. Anxiety, depression, and general distress scores also were not worse in the active surveillance group.

The researchers conclude that although men who opt for active surveillance do not experience worse quality of life, they should still be assessed for potential problems and offered support as needed.

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Active surveillance allows men with prostate cancer to delay or avoid the side effects of its treatment as well.
Men who decide with their doctors to keep a close eye on their prostate cancer - instead of treating it right away - tend to have physical and mental wellbeing equal to or better than men who opt for immediate treatment, suggests a new analysis.

Additionally, the men who decided to track their cancers in a process known as "active surveillance" did not appear to suffer added emotional stress, researchers found. "The men in our study did not appear to suffer from any major negative psychological impacts, including anxiety and depression," said Dr. Lara Bellardita, the study's lead author from the IRCCS Foundation's National Cancer Institute in Milan, Italy.

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