What is active surveillance?
Active surveillance is a way of monitoring prostate cancer that hasn’t spread outside the prostate (localized prostate cancer), rather than treating it straight away.
Patients on active surveillance, are advised to do regular tests to check on the cancer. There is no radical treatment unless these tests show that your cancer may be growing, the patient desires treatment.
Although it seems strange not to have treatment, the localized prostate cancer often grows slowly – if at all – and may have a low risk of spreading. Many men on active surveillance won’t need treatment in their lifetime.
During active surveillance, prostate cancer is carefully monitored for signs of progression. A PSA blood test and digital rectal exam (DRE) are usually administered once or twice a year along with a repeat biopsy of the prostate usually every 1-3 years. If there is evidence that the cancer is progressing treatment might be warranted.