, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 411-414
Date: 19 Sep 2008

Management of low-risk prostate cancer

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This topic focuses on low-risk prostate cancer with invited appraisals by a series of international experts. By categorising prostate cancer as high, intermediate and low-risk disease, patient management can be stratified so that treatment may be tailored for individual needs. While few would doubt the potential life-threatening nature of high and intermediate prostate cancer, the definition of ‘low risk’ disease remains controversial as some men in this category may still suffer the risk of progressing prostate cancer. The dilemma is to recognise such cases sufficiently early in their natural history, and the challenge is to intervene within a safe window of curability in order to benefit patients without inflicting over-treatment which may carry morbidity and reduce quality of life unnecessarily.

O’Donnell and Parker address the concept of what constitutes low-risk prostate cancer and our limited understanding of its natural history. They indicate that the most commonly used stratific ...