Should early “prostate cancer” NOT be called “cancer”?

The AP reports that a team of “specialists convened recently by the National Institutes of Health say it’s time to strip the name ‘cancer'” from low-risk prostate cancer.”

Ninety percent of men diagnosed with such tumors “choose immediate treatment such as surgery or radiation, risking serious and long-lasting side effects,” despite a recent study that “tracked 731 men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer for 10 years and found NO difference in survival between those who had surgery and those who weren’t treated unless they went on to develop cancer symptoms, an older option known as watchful waiting.”

Another option is “active surveillance,” which involves “regular scans, blood tests and biopsies to check the tumor, although the NIH panel found the degree of monitoring can vary.”

The panel has suggested that “men with a PSA level less than 10 and a Gleason score that’s 6 or less are candidates for this type of active surveillance” and should NOT receive the label of “cancer.”

It’s a very, very interesting idea. I’ll be following this closely for you.

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