By : Kandace Heller
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014 approximately 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed. In most men prostate cancer progresses very slowly and may never cause any actual problems. However, in some men it does progress and can develop into a lethal disease. Approximately 29,480 men die from prostate cancer each year.
Decision 1. Treat or watch?
The dilemma that faces each man diagnosed with prostate cancer is whether to try to treat it immediately or to just wait and watch the tumor. In most men, doing what is called “watchful waiting” does not lead to any adverse events other than anxiety about the tumor. However, sometimes delaying treatment while doing “watchful waiting” allows the tumor to progress into a lethal form. But since treatments may cause serious side effects, avoiding treatment if possible can be a good thing. The physician can make a “best guess” about whether the prostate tumor might become lethal based on characteristics of the tumor, but such predictions are currently not terribly accurate.