March 23, 2009

Prostate removal improves cancer survival

Swedish researchers found radical prostatectomy -- prostate removal -- improved prostate cancer survival, when compared with watchful waiting.

Lars Holmberg of Uppsala, Sweden, said the Scandinavian Prostate Cancer Group Study 4 was the first randomized trial to show that radical prostatectomy reduces the risk of prostate cancer mortality and the risk of developing metastases.

The study said radical prostatectomy reduces prostate cancer mortality and risk of metastases with little or no further increase in benefit 10 or more years after surgery.

One of the most striking results of this study was the fact that, in a follow-up of side effects, symptoms and quality of life within the randomized study, the symptom profile was different in the two randomization groups but the overall rating of quality of life was similar, Holmberg said in a statement. This may mean that the side effects of radical prostatectomy wear off, people get used to it perhaps.

The findings were presented at the 24th annual European Association of Urology Congress in Stockholm, Sweden.