Watchful waiting usually involves fewer tests than active surveillance.
You’ll have regular PSA tests and you probably won’t need to have a biopsy. If the cancer spreads or causes symptoms, you’ll have treatment to relieve symptoms or slow the growth of the cancer, rather than to cure the prostate cancer.
Watchful waiting may be suggested if you are older and the cancer is unlikely to cause a problem in your lifetime. It may be an alternative to active cancer treatment if the cancer is advanced at diagnosis. It can also be an option if you have other health problems that would make it hard to handle treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy.
|Choosing active surveillance or watchful waiting avoids treatment side effects, but you may feel anxious about having a cancer diagnosis but no active treatment. Talk to your doctors about ways to manage any worries, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.|
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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