Prostate cancer is not always aggressive – sometimes active surveillance is sufficient treatment
Particularly elderly men may have other illnesses which impact their estimated lifetime so significantly that a diagnosed low-risk prostate cancer will not have the time to cause symptoms. The aim of active surveillance is to delay the disease or to avoid the adverse effects of a treatment. In specific situations, prostate cancer may only be surveilled – and not treated – after thorough preliminary examinations (PSA, MRI and MRI‑based biopsies). The staff at Docrates Prostate Cancer Clinic have experience in active surveillance: we can identify situations where active surveillance is the best alternative and ensure that the patient is regularly and sufficiently monitored.
Active surveillance includes:
- Exminations: Regular PSA testing every few months, regular MRI scans and, if necessary, new biopsies
- Reassessment of the need for treatment: If the patient’s PSA levels increase at a rapid rate, MRI scans show that the cancer is advancing or a new biopsy indicates that the prostate cancer has become more aggressive, the need for treatment will be reassessed together with the patient.
The patient’s personal preferences have a pronounced role in active surveillance. In active surveillance, decisions are always made after a thorough discussion where the benefits and risks of surveillance are weighed. At Docrates, the discussion is attended by the patient and his family and close friends and, as necessary, a urologist and an oncologist, so that the overall understanding is as comprehensive as possible and the patient knows exactly what his situation is and how to proceed.