Over-Treating Prostate Cancer
Do some men receive treatment for prostate cancer that they don't need? Absolutely, says urologist H. Ballentine Carter, M.D., whose pioneering "Active Surveillance" program of rigorous monitoring has set the standard for helping some carefully selected men with small-volume, slow-growing prostate cancer put off, or avoid altogether, surgery or radiation therapy. Carter has also dedicated the last two decades of his career to learning the intricacies of PSA ; he coined the term "PSA velocity" – a means of watching PSA 's rise over time, and understanding when its pace might signal cancer. At the same time, it was Carter's research that discovered that men with very low PSA levels can have highrisk cancer, that men who are in the Active Surveillance program need periodic biopsies every one to two years – and that even then, there is no guarantee that cancer might not somehow slip outside the prostate.
The ultimate choice for treatment depends
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