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Chris Woolmams / Catherine Woollams
Study finds no survival advantage in prostate treatment

Professor Freddy Hamdy and his Oxford University team have found that there is no advantage in having orthodox treatment in localised prostate cancer. The NHS study followed more than 82,000 men aged between 50 and 69 for a decade. Only about 1% died in that time from their cancer, whether or not they had treatment.

There have been similar studies before in America and Sweden with the same conclusion; namely it is almost certainly better to ´watch and wait´, because the treatments themselves can result in so many negative side-effects.

‘Active surveillance’ or ‘Active monitoring’ involves a watch and wait test every three months using PSA measurements. After two years the test moves to once every six months and later becomes once a year.

This study, the largest of its kind, is of immense significance to men diagnosed with localised prostate cancer and over 50. It brings in to question whether orthodox treatment programmes serve any use at all, or whether they are a waste of time and money, apart from the stress and damage they cause to the individual.

Go To Review: Treatments for prostate cancer no better than active monitoring

CANCERactive founder and former Oxford University Biochemist Chris Woollams added, “This research finally confirms what we have been saying for over a decade. Indeed we were the first UK charity to talk of ‘watch and wait’ or Active surveillance. There are two slight issues for men to consider. Firstly, the PSA test is not very accurate and some oncologists prefer to measure a patient’s DHT levels as it is more accurate especially about the aggression of the cancer. Secondly, there is little doubt that having a biopsy can encourage progression and spread of the cancer in some cases”.

Go to: Hyperthermia as an alternative cancer treatment for prostate cancer
 
Many men prefer to watch and wait because the treatments for prostate cancer in the UK involving surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy can be so debilitating.  “I am very interested by relatively non-invasive treatments, like localized hyperthermia, ablation or HIFU, and proton therapy. I think men with prostate cancer have had a very rough ride from orthodox medicine but fortunately that era is coming to an end,” added Woollams.


 

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