A computer modeling study proposes that male elders who have low risk of prostate cancer have better health and quality of life when having regular check-ups than undergoing surgery or radiation.

This study, which was published on Journal of the American Medical Association Wednesday issue, measured the difference of life quality risks and benefits of 65-year-old men who are suffering from prostate cancer that was found in the prostate gland. This is actually considered as low risk.

Dr. Julia Hayes of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School in Boston and her colleagues made use of a simulation model that could be used for the study. The men who were diagnosed are treated with: radical prostatectomy, which is a surgery done to remove the prostate gland; one of the two types of radiation therapy, either intensity-modulated radiation therapy or brachytherapy or internal radiation; and active surveillance, a where patients undergo surveillance with screening tests, biopsies and rectal exams.

It has been noted by the researchers that the quality of life is higher when active surveillance was done since most of these men have been noted to have at least more than one side-effect from treatments regardless of the higher risk of cancer.

Authors of the said study have mentioned that the improvement of quality of life is dependent on the liking of the individual to live under active surveillance to be treated.

Dr. Ian Thompson of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Dr. Laurence Klotz of Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto wrote in a journal commentary the following: “The message is clear: active surveillance was associated with the highest benefit in terms of quality adjusted life expectancy (by at least six additional months) compared with other treatment options.”

The two investigators said the when treatments are delayed and close monitoring is done, there is a striking option that helps avoid unfavorable effects of treatments.More often than not, prostate tumors have gradual growth and that even if not identified at once during screening, the patient may die due to other causes.Laboratory studies and results from imaging tests for the identification of harmless tumors would help the patients as well as the doctors in accepting the active surveillance approach.