May 8, 2011- A 15 year Swedish study has shown that in men under 65 early prostate surgery for low-risk tumors cuts deaths. The study consisted of almost 700 men that had been diagnosed with early prostate cancer where 50% were given immediate prostatectomy surgery and the other 50% nothing. In 2002 the initial results concluded that the early surgery increased survival rates.
After 15 years from when the study started the results are that men that had early surgery reduced their risk of death by over 38%. But this was seen only in men that were less than 65. There was not significant improvement for survival in men that were diagnosed after age 65 that then had surgery.
The results are clear that surgery does reduce the number of deaths but there also is clear indication that not all patients have to undergo surgery. Much depends on their age, patient preference, other medical conditions and how the tumor looks.
Other results from the study included; if the tumor had broken through the prostate capsule there was a much higher risk of death than in those where the tumors remained inside the capsule, 40% of men that had a prostatectomy and 63% that did not needed androgen-deprivation therapy which carries major side effects such as fatigue, sexual dysfunction and risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, in men under 65 seven had to be treated to save one from death while overall 15 had to be treated to save one from death.