Is Watchful Waiting an Option for Me?
- In general, watchful waiting or expectant management -- monitoring the cancer but not undergoing more aggressive treatment -- is reserved for a minority of patients with small cancers, a low Gleason score and a low PSA, and for patients who have a short life expectancy (under five years). Patients who decide to wait and see have determined that the pros of not being treated outweigh the cons.
- A repeat biopsy within one year may be performed, then periodically thereafter to make sure the tumor was not "under staged." Sometimes, subsequent biopsies may show more tumor or a higher Gleason score than initially found, and the patient may then decide to have more aggressive treatment.
- A PSA blood test and digital rectal exam should be performed every six months.
Read about the other two options: