Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

EAU21: Active Surveillance Versus Treatment for Older Men With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

By: Myles Starr
Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Findings presented recently at the European Association of Urology Congress 2021 (EAU21) indicate that active surveillance for men older than age 60 with low-risk prostate cancer may be a better option than active treatment. Lionne Venderbos, PhD, at Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, who reported findings based upon data from the EUPROMS study, a quality-of-life survey conducted by men with prostate cancer.

“Men who choose active surveillance as their preferred option have the same survival rates over 5 years as those who chose surgery or radiation but can also maintain sexual function,” stated Dr. Venderbos in an EAU press release.

The EUPROMS survey included 3,000 men from 24 European nations. Among these patients, 45% on active surveillance reported problems achieving an erection, compared with between 70% and 90% on active treatments. Findings were further supported by data from 23,649 men on active surveillance in Sweden’s National Prostate Cancer Register. Long-term outcomes (up to 30 years from diagnosis) were projected based upon treatments that patients on active surveillance often received, including surgery or radiotherapy. Projections seem to support the idea that men older than age 60 with low-risk prostate cancer have little chance of dying of the disease and may avoid a higher risk of incontinence and sexual dysfunction when choosing active surveillance.

Researchers indicated that older men with low-risk prostate cancer should be made aware of the benefits of active surveillance. However, they cautioned that patients younger than 60 diagnosed with prostate cancer have a higher risk of dying of the disease and may require active treatment.

Disclosure: For a full list of authors’ disclosures, visit

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