Is It Time to Remove 'Cancer' Label From Low-Risk Prostate Tumors?
A team of experts is recommending that doctors forgo describing early, low-grade prostate tumors as "cancers" as a way to ease anxiety among patients and their families and reduce unnecessary treatment. Physicians often advise that men with low-risk prostate tumors wait to see if the disease worsens — an approach called "active surveillance" — rather than rushing to treat the condition. After all, low-grade tumors rarely cause harm, and therapies such as radiation and surgery can carry serious side effects, including impotence and urinary leakage. Yet doctors still label these lesions "cancer," and as a result, some experts say, many men in the United States opt for treatment they don't need.
@sabuj Dropping the C word for low-risk tumors, which make up about half of 268,000 prostate cancer diagnoses annually in the United States, is not a new idea. An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health proposed just that in 2011. However, clinician support for the shift appears to be growing, said Scott Eggener, MD, a urologic oncologist and professor of surgery at the University of Chicago, and a co-author of the new article.