Low-grade Prostate Cancers May Not Become Aggressive With Time — Adds Support for “Watch and Wait” Approach

This study adds more evidence to the argument that patients who are diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancers can opt for an active surveillance, or “watch and wait” approach instead of getting treated right away.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Prostate cancer aggressiveness may be established when the tumor is formed and not alter with time, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Kathryn Penney, Sc.D.

Researchers found that after the introduction of widespread prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, the proportion of patients diagnosed with advanced-stage cancers dropped by more than six-fold in 22 years, but the proportion diagnosed with high Gleason grade cancers did not change substantially. This suggests that low-grade prostate cancers do not progress to higher grade over time.

Cancer stage refers to the extent or spread of the disease, and cancer grade, called Gleason grade for prostate cancer, refers to the aggressiveness of the disease.

“We were able to look at finely stratified time periods to capture pre-PSA, early-PSA, and late-PSA eras within one study. Over time, because of PSA screening, men have been more likely to…

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