US Pharm. 2009;34(2):HS-16. 

Most men with early-stage or low- or moderate-grade prostate cancer die from causes other than prostate cancer, Dr. James S. Goodwin and colleagues from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, report in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

The researchers used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Medicare database to look at 208,601 men between the ages of 65 and 84 who were diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1988 to 2002. Mortality in these patients was similar to that of men the same age without prostate cancer. Among the men with early-stage, low- or moderate-grade tumors, death from prostate cancer was 2.1% versus 6.4% from heart disease and 3.8% from other kinds of cancer.

The researchers concluded that older men with early-stage prostate cancer would benefit from ongoing screening and prevention of cardiovascular disease and other cancers. They added that the decision to use androgen deprivation therapy, used commonly to treat early-stage cancer, must be made cautiously if another serious illness is present.  

To comment on this article, contact