The incidence of prostate cancer in Japan is increasing due to both the spread of screening and the rapid aging of the population.
Most of this increase is expected to be attributable to the increase in the elderly male population. The management of various types of cancers in elderly patients is of growing interest, but several problems are encountered when evaluating elderly patients with localized prostate cancer, especially when radical prostatectomy (RP) is under consideration. First, life expectancy, health status, lifestyle, and available treatment modalities differ between regions, countries, and individuals, which potentially affects the choice of treatment options by both physicians and patients. Second, life expectancy is key when considering indications for RP. Many tools are available for predicting life expectancy, but their utilization varies greatly among physicians. Third, the malignant potential of latent or incidentally detected prostate cancer in Japanese men might be higher than those in other countries, and elderly men with prostate cancer are likely to have high-risk or locally advanced tumors, which may in turn support the more frequent use of radical treatments in elderly men. Fourth, patients treated with RP are likely to have fewer and less severe comorbidities than those treated with other treatments, which would complicate the comparison of outcomes. Fifth, the balance between survival benefits and adverse effects is an important influence on indications for RP. If robot-assisted laparoscopic RP can reduce the risk of adverse effects, indications for RP could be altered. Sixth, although several general health status screening tools such as the Geriatric 8 are available, no screening tools specialized for localized or Japanese prostate cancer patients exist. In conclusion, further study is needed to clarify the management of elderly Japanese patients with localized prostate cancer, because prostate cancer often requires different considerations to other types of cancer.
Mitsuzuka K, Arai Y. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8574, Japan.
Reference: Int J Clin Oncol. 2014 Aug 26. Epub ahead of print.