Australian Prostate Cancer Patients Risk Over, Under-Treatment

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Patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer (PCA) face the critical decision of whether to undergo treatment with curative intent (TCI, surgery or radiation) or conservative treatment on the background of a cancer where the potential for over-treatment and under-treatment is real. This study aimed to investigate the influence of cancer- and patient-related factors on the initial treatment decision for men with a new diagnosis of PCA and to evaluate treatment decisions against relevant guidelines.


This study undertook a retrospective audit of the clinical records of 545 men who were diagnosed with PCA at four Australian urology services. Age, comorbidities, and cancer-related factors were recorded, with patients divided into risk groups based on cancer factors.


Cancer risk stratification emerged as a primary determinant influencing individual treatment choices, with low-risk patients being more likely to have active surveillance and those classified as intermediate or high-risk being more likely to have TCI. Surgery was more commonly offered to younger patients and those with fewer comorbidities. While 80% of patients received guideline-concordant treatment, 20% were identified as being over-treated, receiving TCI despite limited life expectancy and/or high comorbidities.


The aim in treating men diagnosed with PCA should be to avoid under-treatment in men who are young, healthy, and have aggressive cancer by offering TCI. Conversely, over-treatment or unnecessary treatment should be avoided in men with low-grade cancer or in those who are likely to die from competing causes rather than from PCA because of limited life expectancy or significant comorbidities. The results of the current study demonstrated that 80% of patients treated by the participating urologists received appropriate treatment according to the AUA/ASTRO guidelines. Ultimately cancer factors are the prime determinants of treatment options and can be modified by life expectancy and comorbidities. Physicians must be careful not to overestimate the lethality of cancer and underestimate the potential for age and comorbidities to be more likely causes of death while still offering TCI to those most likely to benefit.

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The study was recently published in the Cancer Screening and Prevention.

Cancer Screening and Prevention (CSP) publishes high-quality research and review articles related to cancer screening and prevention. It aims to provide a platform for studies that develop innovative and creative strategies and precise models for screening, early detection, and prevention of various cancers. Studies on the integration of precision cancer prevention multiomics where cancer screening, early detection and prevention regimens can precisely reflect the risk of cancer from dissected genomic and environmental parameters are particularly welcome.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full



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