Surgical Oncology News

This section features a sampling of news related to surgical oncology from the popular press, from press releases received, or SSO news directly pertinent to SSO members.

Study: Surgery for early prostate cancer doesn't save lives

Author: Alexandra Sifferlin, TIME Healthland
Dec 28, 2012

The findings, published in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, fall in line with mounting concerns about the overscreening and overtreatment of prostate tumors in the U.S. Each year, millions of men are screened for early disease and, based on the results, many undergo invasive biopsies, surgery or other cancer treatment for tumors that would not have killed them anyway. The procedures may cause impotence, incontinence and even death; as many as 1,000 to 1,300 men die due to complications associated with treatments prompted by screening.

In May, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against routine screening for prostate cancer using the PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, test. The decision was a controversial one, given that the PSA test has become an entrenched part of men's health care over the last two decades. The task force's recommendation wasn't the last word on prostate-cancer care, and despite the results of the new study, which is being hailed as a landmark trial, the debate will likely continue.

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