Acetaminophen Shown to Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk by 38% »
A new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has come to a very big conclusion; one which will benefit many of the over 200,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the United States. The study, performed over the course of 15 years, has confirmed there to be a significant long-term survival benefit for men who choose to undergo a prostatectomy procedure to treat their prostate cancer, rather than watchful waiting.
Watchful waiting is a technique that’s used in which indicators of prostate cancer are monitored for changes that may indicate when it has become aggressive and needs to be treated. The reason this is done is due to how prostate cancer develops. For many men, especially those who are older, the development of prostate cancer is not life-threatening. The disease often grows very slowly with little risk of spreading. However, it can become incredibly serious if the cancer becomes aggressive and spreads. Watchful waiting helps us to try to determine if treatment is necessary by identifying those high risk cases.
It is not an exact science though, and that’s one of the reasons I advocate removing the prostate entirely through robotic surgery. It’s only through removal of the prostate that we can accurately determine the severity of the condition. What the NEJM study has shown is that there is a significant benefit to treating prostate cancer sufferers this way.
The study followed 695 men who were divided between those who received a prostatectomy and those who had their cancer monitored during a period of watchful waiting. What was found was that the men who had their prostates removed were 38% less likely to die from prostate cancer related causes and 48% less likely to have cancer that metastasized.
An interesting thing to note is that, when the results were broken down by age, it was seen that men under the age of 65 gained the most benefits in terms of increased survivability. There was not a drastic increase in survivability in men over the age of 65. Another thing to note is that there have been several advancements in prostate cancer treatment methods since the start of this study 15 years ago. I have no doubt that the survivability rate would have increased even more if the same study were conducted with today’s robotic technology in conjunction with other treatment methods.