Observation is safe, cost-saving in low-risk prostate cancer

Many men with low-risk, localised prostate cancers can safely choose active surveillance or ‘watchful waiting’ instead of undergoing immediate treatment and have better quality of life while reducing health care costs, according to a study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.
They say that their statistical models showed that ‘observation is a reasonable and, in some situations, cost-saving alternative to initial treatment’ for the estimated 70 percent of men whose cancer is classified as low-risk at diagnosis.
The researchers, led by Julia Hayes, MD, a medical oncologist in the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber, said their findings support observation – active surveillance and watchful waiting – as a reasonable and underused option for men with low-risk disease.
‘About 70 percent of men in this country have low-risk prostate cancer, and it