A three-decade study found that prostate-removal surgery added an average of nearly three years to lives of men with prostate cancer, compared with those who didn’t get surgery and were monitored.
The results suggest the benefits of surgery in men with advanced prostate cancer. Yet men in the early stages of the slow-moving but life-threatening disease might want to wait before undergoing the procedure or forgo it entirely, the study’s authors and other experts say.
That is because the study, conducted in Scandinavia and published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, began in 1989 before widespread use of blood tests that detect prostate cancer early. That means the researchers looked mostly at patients in more advanced stages of the disease.