August 13, 2014 17:41 ET

Low-Risk Prostate Cancer: Who Better to Diagnose?

A Recent Study Has Concluded That Urologists Are More Likely to Treat Low-Risk Prostate Cancer, Rather Than Monitor the Condition

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Aug 13, 2014) - A recent study of low-risk prostate cancer diagnoses has indicated that the management of the cancer varies depending on the type of doctor to make the diagnosis. The study found that patients that were diagnosed by an urologist were more likely to be proactive in the treatment of the cancer, instead of simply monitoring the prostate cancer.

"When dealing with cancer, I would rather be safe than sorry," explains robotic prostate surgeon David B. Samadi, MD. "When you monitor your PSA levels, and you see that there is a change that indicates prostate cancer, there is an opportunity for you to act on it and remove the prostate with the cancer, and minimize the risk of the cancer spreading."

The benefits of prostate removal surgery

Dr. Samadi is Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY. "I have treated over 5,600 patients with prostate cancer, and I have successfully removed the localized cancer from their bodies," says Dr. Samadi. "Once you remove the prostate, you are removing the localized cancer. I don't feel that any of those patients have regrets over removing cancer, instead they have left from surgery feeling relief in knowing that the cancer was removed."

Robotic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that removes the prostate with little trauma to the surrounding area for an easier recovery and better transition back into normal functions of everyday life.

Prostate cancer treatment after diagnosis

The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine and analyzed 12,068 patient cases. The patients were all over the age of 66 and diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2006 and 2009. Of the cases, 19.9% of the diagnoses observed the prostate after diagnosis and 80.1% received active treatment after diagnosis. When analyzing the patient cases, it was found that the characteristics of the tumor and patient medical accounted for only 7.9% variation in upfront management of the condition; there was a 16.1% variation related to the type of doctor that made the diagnosis. It was concluded that upfront treatment, rather than monitoring, the prostate cancer was more likely to occur when an urologist diagnosed the prostate cancer.

"Starting at the age of 40, men should be screening for prostate cancer annually," says Dr. Samadi. "Awareness and constantly monitoring PSA levels is your best defense against prostate cancer. When you are proactively screening, your chances of detecting the cancer early on is increased. Then you can make your decision on treatment."

The study appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine,

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