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Following a positive PSA blood test for cancer, many men opt to have their tumor removed through surgery or other treatment. However, this can carry a risk of life-changing side effects. In order to help more men avoid this, authorities are recommending that some individuals who are diagnosed with prostate cancer simply have their glands monitored.
Prostate cancer is generally a slow-moving condition. Many individuals who are diagnosed with it never see their tumor progress very far. Older individuals diagnosed with the condition often succumb to other causes of death before their tumor has a chance to develop into a real threat.
Because of these relatively low risks, more than 100,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year opt for active surveillance, according to USA Today. This process involves simply monitoring the prostate tumor to make sure it does not progress while abstaining from other more invasive procedures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 223,307 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007, but only 29,093 died from the condition. These stats may indicate that many individuals diagnosed with the condition will have a relatively good prognosis.
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