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Surgery to remove the prostate saves lives compared to "watchful waiting" for some men whose cancers were found because they were causing symptoms, long-term results from a Scandinavian study suggest.

However, U.S. men should not assume that immediate treatment is best, doctors warn, because the study was done before PSA testing became common, and a newer study found the opposite.

PSA blood tests are not recommended for screening by leading medical groups but are widely used in the U.S. That has led to a dramatic increase in the number of prostate cancers found at a very early stage.

Whether to treat them is a big question. Most tumors grow too slowly to threaten a man's life and there is no good way to tell which ones will. Treatments can cause impotence, incontinence and other problems.

In Europe, PSA testing is far less common, and most prostate cancers are found when they cause symptoms such as trouble urinating. Symptoms like this suggest a larger or more advanced tumor.

The study involved 695 such men in Sweden, Finland and Iceland, diagnosed between 1989 and 1999. Half were given surgery to remove their prostates and the rest were closely monitored and given surgery only if symptoms or signs of cancer worsened.

Earlier results suggested that the surgery group fared better. That trend strengthened as time went on. By the end of 2012, 200 men in the surgery group and 247 in the group assigned to monitoring had died - 56 percent and 69 percent, respectively.

Immediate surgery most benefitted men younger than 65; it didn't reduce deaths in those over that age.

"This study tells us we should be very careful about treating anyone over the age of 65 ... and anyone who has low-grade disease," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

In the U.S., fewer men are getting treatment right away, and "that's a good trend and we need to continue that," he said.

The U.S. government, the Swedish Cancer Society, the Karolinska Institute, and two foundations paid for the study. Results appear in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

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Marilynn Marchione can be followed at HTTP://TWITTER.COM/MMARCHIONEAP

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Miller helps Cardinals beat Red Sox 8-6

Wednesday, 05 March 2014 23:20 Published in Sports
 
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Shelby Miller finally got a chance to pitch against the Boston Red Sox.
 
The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander gave up a leadoff home run in his spring training debut Wednesday, then retired eight in a row to help beat Boston 8-6. The game was a relaxed rematch of last year's World Series, won by the Red Sox.
 
Miller, who was held of the World Series because the Cardinals didn't want to add to the rookie's season-long workload - a decision made easier because of Michael Wacha's rise, gave up a homer to Daniel Nava on his second pitch. That was the lone baserunner allowed by Miller, who struck out five, four looking, and reached 95 mph on the radar gun.
 
"Physically I felt amazing out there," he said. "It's still early and we've got to build up, but I felt like the fastball was coming out of my hand really good."
 
Boston newcomer Chris Capuano, pitching his first game, went two innings and allowed two runs on a homer by Xavier Scruggs. Xander Bogaerts homered for the Red Sox.
 
The stakes will be higher when the reigning NL and AL champions meet in St. Louis on Aug. 5-7. Miller conceded the atmosphere for the exhibition game didn't quite compare to the World Series.
 
"I was surprised - I didn't really see too many Boston fans," he said. "But when I gave up the home run, it was pretty loud. Obviously Boston has really good fans. Not better than ours, though."
 
The game marked the start of a two-day visit to Jupiter for the Red Sox. They'll play the Miami Marlins on Thursday before returning to Florida's West Coast.
 
Among those not making the trip: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski.
 
STARTING TIME
 
Red Sox: Capuano gave up three hits and a walk but pitched well considering it was his first outing, manager John Farrell said.
 
Farrell wasn't as happy with other aspects of the Red Sox performance. They committed three errors, could have been charged with another and gave up five walks.
 
"We've got a lot of work to do as a team," Farrell said. "We've got to do a much better job of commanding the strike zone."
 
Cardinals: At this time a year ago, Miller was competing for a job in the majors leagues. Now he's coming off a 15-win rookie season but mindful of the Cardinals' pitching depth.
 
"Am I comfortable knowing I have a better shot obviously of making the team? Yeah," he said. "But at the same time, nothing is guaranteed here, especially with all the young guys we have here. All of them have great arms. There's so much ability around here, I feel like I'm still competing for a spot right now."
 
TRAINER'S ROOM
 
Red Sox: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who hurt his left ankle Monday, is expected back in the lineup Saturday. Right-hander Jake Peavy, who cut his left index finger with a fishing knife on Saturday, threw his first bullpen session since the injury.
 
Cardinals: Closer Trevor Rosenthal threw batting practice one day after he cut a throwing session short because of discomfort in his right leg. Manager Mike Matheny said there's no rush to get Rosenthal into a game.
 
Outfielder Peter Bourjos sat out because of tightness in his leg.
 
REPLAY
 
A replay review in the eighth inning took only about a minute despite technical trouble.
 
The umpires' ruling on a 1-4-3 inning-ending double play turned by the Red Sox was upheld after Matheny challenged the call. A headset in the TV truck didn't work and had to be replaced, the umpire crew said.
 

Ross, Missouri hold off Texas A&M 57-56

Wednesday, 05 March 2014 23:18 Published in Sports
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Earnest Ross converted two free throws with 7.3 seconds remaining to give Missouri its first lead of the night and help the Tigers survive a scare from Texas A&M with a 57-56 win on Wednesday night.
 
Ross, honored before the game for Senior Night, only scored five points before hitting his game-winning shots. With 2.2 ticks left, Ross broke up a pass from Texas A&M's Alex Caruso's inbounds pass, and the Aggies couldn't put up another attempt.
 
Missouri (21-9, 9-8 SEC) overcame 26.9 percent shooting in the first half and trailed by no more than four points during the final 10 minutes, but never caught Texas A&M until the final seconds.
 
Jamal Jones led the Aggies (17-13, 8-9) with 16 points, but committed a turnover with 17.4 seconds remaining and missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 with 8.1 seconds left.
 
Missouri's last-minute comeback revived hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive season with just Saturday's matchup at Tennessee remaining in the regular season.
 
Kourtney Roberson finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for Texas A&M, which took a step back in trying to reach the postseason for the first time in three seasons under Billy Kennedy. The Aggies entered the contest having won five of their last eight games.
 
The Aggies fell to 1-11 away from Reed Arena, where they are 16-2 this season. Texas A&M limited Missouri to 34 percent shooting a game after the Tigers shot a season-high 62 percent from the field.
 
Missouri started 1 of 9 from the field and entered the locker room with more turnovers (9) than field goals (7). The Tigers then started the second half 6 of 10 from the field, and got a spark from freshman Torren Jones.
 
Jones, who didn't play before the break, entered the game and converted a traditional three-point play to get the Tigers within 41-35 with 13:22 remaining. He then stole a pass from Texas A&M's Blake McDonald on the next possession, which led to a dunk by Johnathan Williams III.
 
Jones' plays highlighted a 12-2 Missouri run that narrowed the deficit to 43-42 with 9:16 remaining. But Jamal Jones' steal and fast break layup ended the streak, and the teams traded baskets until the final seconds.
 
Torren Jones finished with five points after garnering a career-high eight in last Saturday's 85-66 win against Mississippi State. All seven of Ross' points came in the final 1:06.

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