What is monitoring?

Some prostate cancers grow slowly and may not affect life expectancy. In this case, it may be best to observe your cancer, rather than begin treatment, to avoid unnecessary treatment and side effects. The two ways of monitoring prostate cancer are active surveillance and watchful waiting. There is a small chance the cancer may grow more quickly than expected but this is unlikely. If the cancer starts to grow or you change your mind about your treatment, your doctor will discuss the available options with you.

What is active surveillance?

Active surveillance involves regular check-ups to monitor your prostate cancer. You will have to go to an outpatients’ clinic or GP surgery for regular PSA tests and sometimes repeat scans, DRE and biopsies. The doctor will be looking for a rise in your PSA level or any change in your condition. Active surveillance is often the best option for those with low-risk prostate cancer.

What is watchful waiting?

Watchful waiting also involves check-ups to monitor the prostate cancer but these do not usually involve DRE and biopsies. It is often the best option for those who won’t benefit from treatment or those whose cancer won’t cause problems during their lifetime.

For more information and contact details for support groups and other useful organisations:

Prostate Cancer Help

Prostate Cancer Help
Press enter or esc to cancel