Active surveillance for prostate cancer
This is a way of monitoring prostate cancer that isn’t causing any symptoms or problems. The aim is to avoid or delay active treatment if the cancer is unlikely to spread or cause symptoms.
Active surveillance may be suggested if the cancer is low risk. This means the PSA level is under 10 ng/mL, stage T1–2, and the cancer is expected to grow slowly based on the Grade Group score. About 70% of Australians with low-risk prostate cancer choose active surveillance.
Typically, active surveillance involves PSA tests every 3–6 months, digital rectal examination every six months, mpMRI scans and biopsies at one year and three years. Ask your doctor how often you need check-ups. If results show the cancer is growing faster or more aggressively, your specialist may suggest starting active treatment.
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Dr Amy Hayden, Radiation Oncologist, Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals, and Chair, Faculty of Radiation Genito-Urinary Group (FROGG), The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, NSW; Prof Shomik Sengupta, Professor of Surgery and Deputy Head, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, and Visiting Urologist and Uro-Oncology Lead, Urology Department, Eastern Health, VIC; A/Prof Arun Azad, Medical Oncologist, Urological and Prostate Cancers, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Ken Bezant, Consumer; Dr Marcus Dreosti, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare, and Clinical Strategy Lead, Oncology Australia, SA; A/Prof Nat Lenzo, Nuclear Physician, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Group Clinical Director, GenesisCare Theranostics and The University of Western Australia, WA; Jessica Medd, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Urology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and HeadwayHealth Clinical and Consulting Psychology Services, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Western Australia; Graham Rees, Consumer; Kerry Santoro, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA; A/Prof David Smith, Senior Research Fellow, Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW; Matthew Starr, Consumer. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title. This booklet is funded through the generosity of the people of Australia.
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