Prostate Cancer More

Lethal After 15 Years

One of the longest studies of early prostate cancer suggests that untreated, slow-growing tumors can become more lethal after 15 years -- findings that argue for more aggressive treatment in younger men.

The Swedish study looked at the widely used practice of "watchful waiting," in which doctors forgo surgery or radiation but keep an eye on the patient's tumor.

It is an option doctors choose for many patients with slow-growing tumors, particularly older men who might die of other causes before the cancer spreads.

Jan-Erik Johansson of Orebro University Hospital said the findings suggest that doctors should consider radical treatment in men who have more than 15 years to live.

The study involved 223 men, average age 72, with initially untreated, early-stage prostate cancer. They were followed for an average of about 21 years. The death rates from prostate cancer remained fairly constant during the first three five-year periods after diagnosis -- about 5 percent to 7 percent -- but after 15 years, 16.7 percent of the 48 participants left died of the cancer.

The findings are in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Camera Captures

Deep-Sea Eruption

Hoping to learn more about undersea volcanoes, scientists sent a camera-equipped submarine down to take a look and became the first to witness a deep-sea eruption.

"At first, we really didn't understand what was going on," said Robert W. Embley, chief scientist on the mission.

"We were seeing billowing clouds coming up and turning yellow. There was sulfur, and rocks were flying out," said Embley, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

Samples of material from the eruption are still being studied. It was highly caustic, damaging the camera lenses even though the robotic submarine was quickly backed away, Embley said.

The volcano, with a rim 1,800 feet below the sea surface, is northwest of the island of Rota in the Northern Mariana Islands.

3 Common Symptoms

Tied to Ovarian Cancer

A cluster of three common symptoms in women -- a swollen abdomen, a bloated feeling and urgent urination -- should raise suspicions of ovarian cancer if they are persistent, severe and began recently, a study says.

The symptoms are among many that have been associated with ovarian cancer. But because they also affect most healthy women at some point, they are often not seen as a tip-off to cancer.

All three symptoms were found in 43 percent of women later diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but in just 8 percent of women without the disease.

The lack of identifiable symptoms has contributed to the relatively poor prognosis for women with ovarian cancer. Nearly 26,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, and more than 16,000 will die of it, the American Cancer Society estimates.

The new study may help identify women who should have further tests, said lead author Barbara Goff, a gynecologic cancer specialist at the University of Washington.

-- From News Reports