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In patients with localised prostate cancer, active surveillance is associated with better sexual function, urinary symptoms and bowel symptoms
  1. Roderick C N van den Bergh1,
  2. Marie-Anne van Stam2
  1. 1 Netherlands Cancer Institute–AvL, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roderick C N van den Bergh, Netherlands Cancer Institute–AvL, Plesmanlaan 121, Amsterdam 1006 BE, The Netherlands; roodvdb{at}

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Commentary on: Chen RC, Basak R, Meyer AM, et al. Association between choice of radical prostatectomy, external beam radiotherapy, brachytherapy, or active surveillance and patient-reported quality of life among men with localised prostate cancer. JAMA 2017;317:1141–50.


Many patients with prostate cancer are diagnosed with low-risk disease only, for whom the benefit of surgery or radiation on life expectancy may be very limited, while still bringing the risk of side effects.1 2 Therefore, patients with low-risk prostate cancer are currently offered the option of active surveillance. This strategy delays therapy with curative intent until progression occurs, or it may completely avoid radical treatment.3 As a result, in the treatment decision-making process of patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, up-to-date and preferably personalised information about the possible positive and negative effects of the treatment options is vital.


Chen and colleagues conducted a US population-based, observational study on 1141 men diagnosed with mostly …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.