The National Proactive Surveillance Network, the world's first online medical database designed to help men track the progression of their prostate cancer while avoiding complications from overtreatment, launches today.
A project of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins, the National Proactive Surveillance Network will allow men diagnosed with slow-growing forms of the disease to track their disease in a secure, interactive web-based patient portal.
"Recently, new research has estimated that as many as 50 percent of newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients have a form of the disease that is so slow-growing that it often does not pose a threat to the life or long term health of the patient," said Stuart Holden, MD, director of Cedars-Sinai's Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center and medical director for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "As a result, a growing number of prostate cancer patients are deciding that the best course of action for them may be to defer initial treatment until it can be determined whether they, in fact, have the more aggressive or less aggressive form of the disease."
Traditionally, men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer choose immediate treatment, such as surgery or radiation. Such aggressive treatment can result in complications such as impotence and incontinence, diminishing quality of life while not increasing the patient's lifespan, said Holden, who also holds the Warschaw, Robertson, Law Families Chair in Prostate Cancer at Cedars-Sinai.