Active surveillance is a safe option for Black men with low-risk prostate cancer, according to a new study of 8,726 men with low-risk prostate cancer who were followed for about 8 years. Since this cancer is known to often progress slowly, men with low-risk prostate cancer can sometimes forgo treatment and engage in “active surveillance.” This entails regular blood tests, prostate exams and biopsies to hold off on treatment and the possible related side effects.
The researchers found that 60% of Black men with low-risk prostate cancer experienced disease progression, compared with 48% of white men, and 55% of Black men needed therapy, compared with 41% of white men. However, there was no difference between the two groups of men in the spread of cancer to other tissues or in the deaths from prostate cancer.
“Our research provides evidence that active surveillance is safe for African-American men,” said Brent Rose, MD, of UC San Diego Health. “This means more African-American men can avoid definitive treatment and the associated side effects of urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and bowel problems.”
- See “Active Surveillance Appears Safe for Black Men With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer” by Sukanya Charuchandra on the Cancer Health website (November 13, 2020)
- See the abstract of the scientific paper “Association Between African American Race and Clinical Outcomes in Men Treated for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer With Active Surveillance” by Rishi Deka et al.