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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Prostate Cancer: Is Active Surveilance A Good Option for Me?

 Prostate Cancer: Is Active Surveillance A Good Option for Me?

WARNING: The views and/or opinions about Prostate Cancer and treatments are mine and mine alone. I am not a doctor or health care professional. I am just one man recording his experience with Prostate Cancer in the hopes it may help some one facing the same decision I faced.

In previous posts I have briefly describe two major treatment plans for  the treatment of Prostate Cancer. Radical Prostatecomy and Radiation. Both of these treatments are effective in treating and curing Prostate Cancer. But what if I told you there was a third treatment option that is non-evasive and has none of the side affects or risks of surgery/radiation?

The good new is there is a viable option called Active Surveillance.  Simply put Active Surveillance is the close monitoring of your cancer and if/when the cancer spreads and your PSA show a steady raise begin more aggressive treatments.

So the question is whose a good candidate for Active Surveillance and what are the survival rate?

A good candidate for Active Surveillance is one with the following:

1. Older men with other medical problems.
2. Low risk men with a Gleason score of 6 or less and a PSA less than 10.
3. Healthy younger men who want to avoid the side effects of surgery/radiation and are willing to carefully monitor their cancer.

The risks? Well like all treatment programs there are risks. Sooner of later your Prostate Cancer will probably grow. At that point surgery or radiation become the choices of treatment. But in the mean time you can live a normal active life

By Active Surveillance it's vital to realized that this doesn't mean just forgetting about the cancer or putting off keeping an eye on it. You need to work closely with your Urologist. Regular PSA testing, Prostate Biopsy and possibly MRI and Bone scans are an important part of the monitoring program.

So what are the survival rate?

According to most studies 50-66% of men during the 10 years after their diagnosis stay on active surveillance and don’t warrant treatment. Younger men with low Gleason score are better candidates than older men whose cancer can me more aggressive.

If you meet the guidelines and are willing to work closely with your Urologist than Active Surveillance is a real and effective option; avoiding more aggressive treatment and for the rest of the men a delay in having to experience the side effects of treatment.

 Please don't use this article as your sole source of info. Do your research, talk to your doctor and partner and make the decision  that best suits your age, progression of cancer and health.

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