Do All Prostate Cancers Need to Be Treated?

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Not all prostate cancers need to be treated, I'm a big fan of not treating patients, of doing active surveillance, but the problem is, is once you've scared a man that maybe you have cancer, you do a biopsy and tell them they have cancer, and then tell them you don't need treatment, that can be a very difficult thing to decide, okay I'm not going to have treatment, we need better answers.

I'm hopeful that these large screening studies that are being done, especially the one in Europe, will actually over time give us a better handle so what we know about the study is, right now is the men who were screened have a lower death rate than the men who weren't. But for every man that is saved, we're talking about treating another 40+ men.

What we don't know about these men if you don't know the age, so, we're looking at prostrate cancer a little too universally. So it may be very different for a man who is 50 versus a man who is 70. We also know that prostate cancer comes in different varieties, there's slow growing well differentiating cancer, and there is cancer that is high grade and aggressive and in between.

So right now in the screening study we haven't broken the cancers into these different subsets and look closer at how the screening detects and how the treatment may be different or the outcome for this method of screening or not screening may be different.[MUSIC].