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Prostate Cancer
Treatment Guide™

Experts in Treating Prostate Cancer
Treatment
Description
Prostate Cancer
Patient Profile
Prostate Cancer
Treatments
Prostate Cancer
Survival Rates
Prostate Cancer
Side Effects
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Watchful
Waiting

Watchful Waiting

Also called expectant therapy, patient undergoes careful monitoring instead of more aggressive therapy. Watchful Waiting

Also called expectant therapy, patient undergoes careful monitoring instead of more aggressive therapy.

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Expectant Therapy
Patients

Recommended to those with low Gleason and PSA levels, and nonpalpable tumors. Expectant Therapy
Patients

Recommended to those with low Gleason and PSA levels, and nonpalpable tumors.

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Monitoring and Care

Expectant therapy includes regular visits to a doctor for prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams. Monitoring and Care

Expectant therapy includes regular visits to a doctor for prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams.

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Watchful Waiting Outcomes

Because prostate cancer is usually slow-growing, many men opt for and benefit from watchful waiting. Watchful Waiting
Outcomes

Because prostate cancer is usually slow-growing, many men opt for and benefit from watchful waiting.

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Risks of
Watchful Waiting

Cancer may grow between monitoring visits and quickly spread to other parts of the body. Risks of
Watchful Waiting

Cancer may grow between monitoring visits and quickly spread to other parts of the body.

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Prostate News

Click here for the latest news on Watchful Waiting. Prostate News

Click here for the latest news on Watchful Waiting.

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Watchful Waiting
Videos

Click here to view Watchful Waiting procedures. Watchful Waiting
Videos

Click here to view Watchful Waiting procedures.

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Watchful Waiting
Experiences


Click here to share your Watchful Waiting experiences.Watchful Waiting
Experiencse

Click here to share your Watchful Waiting experiences.

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Brachytherapy

Chemotherapy

Cryotherapy & Cryosurgery

Hormone
Therapy

Radiation
Therapy

Prostatectomy

Robotic Prostatectomy

Complementary
and
Alternative Medicine

High Intensity
Focused
Ultrasound (HIFU)

Emerging Technologies

 

Watchful Waiting Description

Watchful waiting is not a euphemism for doing nothing, but rather it is the decision to delay treatment in favor of careful monitoring for the progression of prostate cancer. Watchful waiting may also be referred to as expectant management, conservative management, observation, or active surveillance.

The theory behind watchful waiting treatment is that most prostate cancers, specifically prostate adenocarcinomas, usually grow very slowly. Patients who have low Gleason scores, other medical complications, or low grade tumors may wish to postpone treatment due to the side effects. The standard that most doctors use when recommending watchful waiting is a ten years life expectancy. If a patient can reasonably expect to benefit from a more aggressive treatment for a period of ten years or more, doctors may recommend pursuing other treatments now. Patients who are older or who wish to avoid the side effects of incontinence and impotence that usually come with other treatments may opt for watchful waiting.

Watchful waiting will tell you and your doctor how quickly your prostate cancer is progressing, or if the disease is progressing at all. PSA tests are usually taken every three months to monitor a change in PSA velocity. Doctors usually recommend that patients receive biopsies in a year. Patients also receive regular DRE’s which will detect any new regularities that may indicate the progression of prostate cancer.

Patients who choose to undergo watchful waiting will be able to avoid the side effects and prolong their current activities and physical state. Patients may also be able to make lifestyle changes in their exercise and diet, which may help slow the progression of prostate cancer even more. Positive changes in diet and exercise will also benefit the patient’s overall physical and mental well being. Some doctors say that patients may not benefit from watchful waiting if thought of postponing treatment causes high levels of anxiety and distress that interfere with daily life.

Patients opting to undergo watchful waiting should be aware that prostate cancer usually grows slowly. However, slow growth is not the rule of thumb for all prostate cancer cases. Careful monitoring by experienced physicians can help a patient receive the full benefit of watchful waiting. There is always a chance, though, that prostate cancer will metastasize or rapidly grow in between checkups. The frequent checkups are to minimize the likely hood of unmonitored prostate cancer growth.

Watchful waiting can also be used as treatment for recurrent prostate cancer. If a patient is free of biochemical failure for several years, meaning his PSA levels stay well below 0.5ng/mL, and then suddenly increases, or if the doctor finds irregularities during a DRE, watchful waiting may be a good choice. Especially for older patients or those with other health problems who do not wish to go through treatments and side effects, watchful waiting may be the first choice for salvage treatment. Many doctors urge their patients to pick which treatment would most benefit them and their lives. Because prostate cancer often does grow slowly, it is not uncommon for patients to chose watchful waiting as their salvage therapy.

 
 
 

 
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