Frequently Asked Questions
16. What is "watchful waiting" and why would I choose it as a treatment?
With watchful waiting, a man's condition is closely monitored, but treatment does not begin until symptoms appear or change. The doctor may suggest watchful waiting for some men who have prostate cancer that is found at an early stage and appears to be growing slowly. Over a third of men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer currently choose watchful waiting.
Also, watchful waiting may be advised for older men or men with other serious medical problems. For these men, the risks and possible side effects of surgery, radiation therapy, or hormonal therapy may outweigh the possible benefits. Doctors monitor these patients with regular check-ups. If symptoms appear or get worse, the doctor may recommend active treatment.