(HealthDay News) — Among US veterans with low-risk prostate cancer, use of conservative management increased from 2005 to 2015, according to a research letter published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Stacy Loeb, MD, from Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues examined treatment patterns for veterans diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer from January 2005 through November 2015. The use of conservative management was explored over time, stratified by age. Data were included for 125,083 veterans with low-risk prostate cancer.

The researchers found that of the 59,941 veterans (48%) who received conservative management, 37,717 and 22,224 (30 and 18%), respectively, received watchful waiting and active surveillance. From 2005 to 2015, there was an increase in utilization of conservative management among men aged younger than 65 years (27 to 72%) and among those aged 65 years or older (35 to 79%). The increase was mainly due to more use of active surveillance from 2005 to 2015 (4 to 39% in men aged <65 years and 3 to 41% in men aged ≥65 years).

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“Utilization of conservative management has increased significantly among US veterans with low-risk prostate cancer, suggesting a substantial reduction in overtreatment during the past decade,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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Loeb S, Byrne N, Makarov DV et al. Use of Conservative Management for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer in the Veterans Affairs Integrated Health Care System From 2005-2015.JAMA. 2018;319(21):2231-2233. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.5616