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AUSTRALIA and New Zealand are among the best places in the world to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to a visiting US professor who says aggressive treatment is being avoided in many cases.
In many countries, a diagnosis of prostate cancer almost always leads to removal or radiation therapy.
In Australia and New Zealand, however, many low-risk patients are being managed by active surveillance.
This means they are monitored with regular blood tests, biopsies and MRIs and aggressive action is taken only if the disease becomes life-threatening.
Visiting American professor James Eastham, who will address urologists at a conference in Melbourne on Monday, is full of praise for his colleagues in Australia and New Zealand.
He says about one in three men who are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer are candidates for active surveillance.
In Australia and New Zealand, about half of these are managed with active surveillance.
This is well ahead of the US, where only about 10 per cent of eligible patients are managed by active surveillance.
This leads to over-treatment.