Prostate cancer active surveillance ineffective without follow up

Active surveillance of low-risk prostate cancer becomes ineffective when patients don't return for follow up exams, according to a study presented last week at the European Association of Urology's annual congress.

The study followed 157 patients with low-risk prostate cancer status. According to lead researcher Lukas Hefermehl of Kantonsspital Baden in Switzerland, in order for an active surveillance program to work, patients should have a PSA test and rectal exam every six months, and a prostate biopsy every other year. The study showed that 27 percent of the original 157 patients in the study failed to show up for surveillance appointments.

"These results indicate that there is a significant number of men lost to follow-up who will eventually develop a progressive disease," Hefermehl said in an announcement touting the research. "Many of these men may even eventually die of prostate cancer. This 'patient factor' must be taken into account when designing future active surveillance protocols." Announcement

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