During active surveillance (watchful waiting) for prostate cancer, you and your doctor closely monitor your prostate cancer for any changes. No medical treatment is provided — meaning medications, radiation and surgery aren't used. Periodic tests are done to check for signs the cancer is growing.

Because prostate cancer often grows slowly and may not require treatment, active surveillance can be an option for some men with prostate cancer. Active surveillance may be a good choice if your cancer is small, expected to grow very slowly, confined to one area of your prostate, and isn't causing signs or symptoms. If you are an older man or have another medical condition that limits your life expectancy and your prostate cancer isn't causing symptoms or harm, active surveillance may also be a reasonable approach.

Feb. 09, 2011