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Surgery for early prostate cancer may not be beneficial

Some New Jersey residents may be among the 160,000 or so men who have been or will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. It has also been estimated that more than 26,000 will die from this form of cancer. Because the majority of those who are diagnosed are in the early stages, one common treatment has been surgery. However, a study showed that this treatment provided few benefits.

When men are diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, the cancer is still confined in the prostate gland. The tumors that they do have are also nonagressive. As such, aggressive treatment such as surgery is not needed for the men to have a positive prognosis. Early-stage prostate cancer can also grow slowly and cause no symptoms, meaning many men do not need treatment at all. In fact, getting surgery can lead to serious medical complications, such as erectile dysfunction, infection and urinary incontinence.

To determine whether or not surgery for early-stage prostate cancer offered any benefits, a 20-year study was completed. Of the men who had the surgery, 27 percent died from prostate cancer while 61 percent died of other causes. Of those who were not given the surgery, 11 percent died from prostate cancer while 66 percent died of other causes.

Those who are treated for cancer through surgery face complications that could have an impact on their recovery and ability to live a normal life after-the-fact. In some cases, an unneeded procedure could result in a worsened medical condition. Patients who have been harmed in such a fashion may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss their situation and to learn what legal recourse might be available.