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Dr. Magi-Galluzzi on Preventing Overtreatment of Prostate Cancer

Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, MD, PhD, discusses the importance of properly diagnosing patients with prostate cancer to avoid overtreatment.

Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, MD, PhD, director, Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Pathology, Birmingham School of Medicine, University of Alabama, discusses the importance of properly diagnosing patients with prostate cancer to avoid overtreatment.

Magi-Galluzzi believes patients with prostate cancer were previously overtreated. Typically, patients receive prostate-specific antigen tests to detect atypical patterns. Then, patients undergo a biopsy. If a cancer diagnosis was made, some patients with low-grade tumors who may not have needed surgery received a radical prostatectomy anyway; therefore, it is important to diagnose carefully.

Cancer grading systems encourage physicians to be more cautious, according to Magi-Galluzzi. A cancer grading system would likely recommend patients with low-grade tumors to be involved in an active surveillance program rather than treated aggressively. This allows physicians to focus on patients with higher-grade disease who have higher rates of recurrence, metastasis, or disease-specific mortality, says Magi-Galluzzi.

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