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Prostate Cancer: Active Surveillance Offers Quality-of-Life Gains

'Watchful Waiting' May Offer More Benefits Than Treating the Disease in Select Cases

Accepting Active Surveillance

“Active surveillance is reasonable in a proportion of patients, but this paper should not be misconstrued to think that most patients should have active surveillance at age 65,” says Reza Ghavamian, MD, director of the prostate cancer program at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Cancer Care and director of urologic oncology and robotic urology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. “That’s not true.”

Treatment has to be individualized, he says.

“Some patients may say ‘it affects my quality of life, if I know I have a cancer that I am just  watchfully waiting,' and some people say ‘I don’t care as long as doctor is watching it for me,'” he says.

“There should be a wider acceptance of the concept of active surveillance,” says Jeri Kim, MD, an associate professor in the department of genitourinary medical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. But “a lot of people are afraid of having cancer and not doing anything about it, and this study is one of the first to come out that really tells us that it's a reasonable option for men with low-risk prostate cancer.”

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