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Is Active Surveillance Vs. Surgery Safe For Prostate Cancer?

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For the majority of patients, seeking immediate treatment for a cancer diagnosis is the most appropriate course of action. When it comes to prostate cancer, however, that may not always be the case. In fact, some men may never require treatment for their prostate cancer and, instead, pursue active surveillance. At Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL, board-certified urologists Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian and Dr. Ali Kasraeian are highly experienced in even the most complex cases and take great care to recommend the most beneficial approach for each patient as an individual. Learn more here about why active surveillance may be recommended, what it means, and whether it’s a safe alternative to prostate cancer treatment.

What is active surveillance for prostate cancer?

Sometimes referred to as watchful waiting or expectant management, active surveillance is a relatively common approach for managing certain patients with prostate cancer. Watchful waiting does not include any form of treatment, such as radiation, surgery, or medications for prostate cancer. Instead, patients who choose watchful waiting are closely monitored by Dr. Kasraeian during regular follow-up appointments, which may include:

  • PSA blood test
  • Additional labs
  • Symptom monitoring
  • Imaging studies (ultrasound/MRI)
  • Repeat biopsy if needed

Who should choose watchful waiting for prostate cancer?

Because prostate cancer is often slow growing, men who receive an early prostate cancer diagnosis may never develop signs, symptoms, or life-threatening complications from their disease. The same is often true for patients with low-grade prostate cancer. Men who may benefit from watchful waiting vs. active treatment for prostate cancer include:

  • Patients with low-grade disease
  • Patients with a low Gleason score
  • Men with more serious health complications that shorten their life expectancy
  • Men who want to avoid the side effects of prostate cancer treatment
  • Patients of advanced age

Following your prostate biopsy, Dr. Kasraeian will thoroughly assess your disease, discuss all of your available options, and formulate a personalized prostate cancer treatment plan for you. If appropriate, watchful waiting may be recommended.

Is watchful waiting for prostate cancer safe?

For many patients, the idea of leaving their prostate cancer untreated is understandably concerning. Rest assured that active surveillance is only recommended in cases when the patient is unlikely to experience any symptoms or complications associated with their disease and/or when treating prostate cancer may actually do more harm than good. However, there are some risks associated with expectant management, including:

  • Cancer may grow/spread more quickly than expected
  • More aggressive treatment may be required in the future
  • Fewer available treatment options for advanced disease

In the vast majority of cases where watchful waiting is appropriately recommended, patients are able to live long, fulfilling lives without ever experiencing complications associated with their prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer doesn’t always mean surgery. Find out whether watchful waiting in Jacksonville, FL may be safe for you.

If you have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be starting to consider all of your treatment options and likely have questions about what’s safe, appropriate, and reasonable for you. Call the knowledgeable team at Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL to schedule your private consultation with board-certified urologists Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian today, and learn more about our advanced prostate cancer treatment options, active surveillance, and more. We look forward to helping you make an informed decision that gives you the confidence you deserve about the management of your prostate cancer.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.