Men with low-risk prostate cancer to be spared gruelling operations under new NHS guidelines
THOUSANDS of men with low-risk prostate cancer will be spared gruelling ops and radiotherapy by new NHS guidance.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence now recommends telling patients there is no difference to ten-year survival rates either with or without the treatments.
The 7,800 men a year diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer will instead get “active surveillance” known as “watch and wait”.
Patients will be monitored for changes with regular MRI scans — 12 per cent better than standard tests.
Experts claim it could prevent thousands from having ops such as prostate removal which can lead to impotence and incontinence.
Prostate Cancer UK’s Heather Blake said: “What is crucial is active surveillance is consistently delivered to a high standard across the UK alongside personalised information and support.”
GP Sam Merriel welcomed the changes but cautioned: “Choosing active surveillance is not easy as it goes against the natural instinct of wanting to get rid of the cancer immediately.”
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