Men who are being monitored may be more open to interventions for improving their general health and quality of life
Prostate cancer is the most frequently registered cancer in Australian men, with an estimated 17 729 new diagnoses in 2018.1 For the 25% who are diagnosed with low risk disease, active surveillance (AS) is now the recommended management strategy, as their cancer may never progress.2 Avoiding or at least postponing radical treatment reduces the quality of life risks associated with surgery or radiation therapy. However, there is no evidence-based consensus about the optimal approach to surveillance, and practices differ between countries with regard to the type, frequency, and sequence of follow-up.3 AS differs from “watchful waiting” in that it has a curative intent; watchful waiting involves less intense routine monitoring, intervening only when symptoms appear. One standard approach to AS recommends prostate-specific antigen (PSA) assessment every 3–6 months, a digital rectal examination at least once a year, and at least one biopsy within 12 months of diagnosis, followed by serial biopsy every 2–5 years.
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