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Title of Collaborative Activity:

NIH State-of-the-Science Conference: Role of Active Surveillance in the Management of Men With Localized Prostate Cancer

Description of Collaborative Activity:

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men in the United States. It is estimated that in 2010, approximately 32,000 American men died of prostate cancer and 218,000 were newly diagnosed with the disease. Most prostate cancers are detected by a blood test that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a tumor marker. More than half of cancers detected with PSA screening are localized (confined to the prostate), not aggressive at diagnosis, and unlikely to become life-threatening. However, 90 percent of patients receive immediate treatment for prostate cancer, such as surgery or radiation therapy. In many patients, these treatments have substantial short- and long-term side effects without any clinical benefit. Appropriate management of screen-detected, early-stage, low-risk prostate cancer is an important public health issue given the number of men affected and the risk for adverse outcomes, such as diminished sexual function and loss of urinary control. To better understand the benefits and risks of active surveillance and other observational management strategies for PSA-screening-detected, low-grade, localized prostate cancer, the NIH engaged in a rigorous assessment of the available scientific evidence. After weighing the evidence, an unbiased, independent panel prepared and presented a statement addressing the key questions. The conference was held December 5-7, 2011.

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