Active Surveillance has been shown to be a safe option for men with lower risk prostate cancer to either avoid or delay the need for treatment. Men who remain on Active Surveillance have the same chance of living for 10 years as they would if they had chosen to have surgery or radiation therapy.
The length of time men remain on Active Surveillance programs is variable and many men may never need treatment. Some reasons men move from Active Surveillance to treatment include:
- increase in cancer grade - the biopsy results show that the grade of the tumour has increased
- increase in cancer size/growth - determined by a PSA level increase, results from a biopsy and/or MRI scan results
- anxiety - some men can feel very anxious because they are afraid their cancer will grow.
If you are on Active Surveillance and are thinking about starting treatment, understanding as much as you can about prostate cancer and the different treatment options can help you decide which option is best for you.
Ask your doctor and/or Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse for as much information as you need. It can also be helpful to discuss your options with your partner, family and/or close friends. Speaking to people at your local prostate cancer support group or through PCFA’s online community can also help you decide.
For information and support visit www.pcfa.org.au/support or call us on 1800 22 00 99.