Researchers at University of California, Davis have found that older men with early-stage testicular cancer who opt for surveillance with regular CT scans are at high risk of developing secondary cancers.
The results showed that patients who are on active surveillance with CT scans are more likely to develop secondary malignancies after 15 years compared to patients who received aggressive lymph node surgery or chemotherapy.
Statistical analysis showed that for every 10,000 patients put on active surveillance, 306 would get secondary malignancies, compared to 233 who underwent surgery alone.
Researchers also found that the risk of secondary cancers after repeated CT scans was high among older men than younger men.
For the study, researchers examined cases of 7,301 men diagnosed between 1988 and 2006 with nonseminomatous germ cell tumour, the most common type of testicular cancer.
The researchers recommended that active surveillance should be limited only to those men whose cancers are least likely to progress.
They also suggested the use of alternative imaging techniques, including ultrasound and MRI, or less frequent use of CT imaging.