Prostate Cancer – Which men to treat

12
Apr

Roughly 1 in 6 men will eventually get prostate cancer and 32,000 men die from it each year. That makes it the second leading cause of death in men due to cancer after lung cancer. But who should be treated? Many men will die of other causes unless the tumor is particularly aggressive.Now researchers have identified 4 genes that taken together give us a clue into who should be treated to avoid not treating the aggressive form of the disease. This would be a huge help because today prostate cancer creates a real dilemma for men. There are 220,000 new cases annually and PSA testing picks up the cases early. But only one life will be saved for every 48 men treated. Because of this, many doctors want to wait and see if it really needs treatment. And living with cancer and not treating it creates its own kind of stresses. The new study tested the genes of 400 men with prostate cancer to see which groups of genes led to death and which did not. The hope is that a test will be available in the next two years. For more information see today’s issue of the journal Nature.

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