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Is active surveillance an OK strategy for prostate cancer?

Posted Dec 04 2010 8:21pm

I try to keep up on the latest advances in prostate cancer treatment. After all, I have prostate cancer and will start radiation treatments in a couple of days. I also want to keep my blog readers up to date, as much as possible. It seems to me, more articles are suggesting active surveillance as a possible treatment option for this form of cancer. For a newly diagnosed patient who has a localized, low-grade tumor, active surveillance means postponing treatment (surgery or radiation) while the cancer remains low-grade.

Amanda Gardner , a reporter for HealthDay.com, has a great article for men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

If there is one thing I need to stress, it’s that men need to talk about treatment options with their urologist. Bring a notebook, pencil and pen, and ask a bunch of questions. In a great many cases, men have time to discuss options with their doctors and family; a decision doesn’t have to be made overnight. I decided on active surveillance after long discussions with my doctor. My cancer grade (Gleason score) went up a notch, so treatment was imperative. I picked external beam radiation, but you may decide surgery is the best option. You need to make the decision based on your age and the cancer aggressiveness. It’s not for me to tell you one option is better than the other. You need to do the homework.

Note: A few weeks from now, I’ll post an update on my radiation treatments. I’ll let you know about the procedure.


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