Active surveillance and watchful waiting are wait-and-see approaches for cancer. They are used because you may get better (or not get worse) without treatment. And if the cancer continues to grow or spread, you and your doctor will decide what to do next.
Active surveillance means that you are being watched closely by your doctor without having treatment unless your problem gets worse. During this time, you will have regular checkups and tests, such as biopsies or blood work.
Watchful waiting also means that you'll be watched closely by your doctor without having treatment unless your problem gets worse. But the goal of watchful waiting is to only treat symptoms that bother you rather than cure the cancer. Men who are near the end of their lives and men who have other serious medical conditions and aren't well enough to have aggressive treatments often choose watchful waiting.
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise