What is Active Surveillance
Some prostate tumors grow very slowly and never cause health problems. Active surveillance or watchful waiting involves regular testing and monitoring. Additional or definitive treatment can be started if cancer shows signs of progression.
Advantages of Active Surveillance:
- Avoid or delay treatment side effects including erectile dysfunction (chronic inability to achieve or maintain an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse) and urinary incontinence (partial or complete loss of bladder control)
- Less impact on quality of life/normal activities
- Less risk of unnecessary treatment of small, slow-growing cancers
Disadvantages of Active Surveillance:
- Low chance of missed opportunity for cure
- Periodic follow-up MRI and/or prostate biopsies may be necessary
What happens on Active Surveillance?
According to prostate cancer treatment guidelines you doctor may suggest the following:
- PSA (blood test) > every 3-6 months unless clinically indicated
- DRE (digital rectal exam) no more often than every 12 months unless clinically indicated
- Repeat prostate biopsy no more often than every 6-12 months unless clinically indicated
- MRI Imaging of the prostate may be recommended
The Prolaris test provides new information about your cancer than no other test can. The Prolaris test can determine just how unique and aggressive your prostate cancer truly is. Your Prolaris Score provides individualized information about your specific cancer to help you and your physician develop the appropriate treatment plan.