Alternatives to Surgery and Radiation for Prostate Cancer

By Jeffrey Norris, UCSF Science Cafe | January 11, 2007

Due to aggressive prostate cancer screening, more men than ever before are being diagnosed with small, low-grade tumors that may pose little immediate threat.

Oncologists are offering some of these men close monitoring -- called active surveillance -- without any immediate treatment. Why not treat? Some prostate tumors may never progress significantly, and both surgery and radiation pose the risk of impotence, incontinence and other side effects.

But many men are uncomfortable about only being monitored while hoping that their low-risk tumors never grow. So clinical researchers are exploring noninvasive interventions that might further lower the odds that untreated tumors will turn nasty. Can Diet and Lifestyle Affect Prostate Cancer Outcome?

June Chan, PhD, epidemiologist for the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center's Prostate Cancer Program, is addressing a session on nontoxic interventions at a symposium on active surveillance of prostate cancer on January 12 and 13 at UCSF's Mission Bay campus.

Chan and Peter Carroll, MD, chair of urology, associate dean and director of clinical services for the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, lead a National Cancer Institute-funded UCSF clinical trial called MENS -- Molecular Effects of Nutritional Supplements.

(Note that in November 2007 the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center was renamed the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.)

Read more at Jeffrey Norris, UCSF Science Cafe