Watchful waiting is an option whereby nothing is done to treat prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis. Our team of medical experts monitors the cancer to see if it progresses. Typically, the PSA value is assessed at regular intervals to see whether it is increasing and at what rate. This is called the PSA velocity. Until a certain threshold is reached with PSA value or the onset of bone pain occurs, any treatment is on hold. Watchful waiting is ideally suited for individuals with other life-threatening medical conditions and older patients whose bodies would not be able to handle the trauma of surgery or vigorous therapies. Obviously, if the PSA velocity increases rapidly, then a course of treatment needs to be put in place as soon as possible, regardless of age or health.
Edward David Kim, MD, FACS Professor of Surgery, Division of Urology, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, University of Tennessee Medical Center
Edward David Kim, MD, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Surgeons , American Society for Reproductive Medicine , American Society of Andrology , American Urological Association , Sexual Medicine Society of North America , Tennessee Medical Association
Disclosure: Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Endo.
Treatments for any cancer may cause side effects that impact patients’ quality of life. But prostate cancer treatments are especially concerning for men, because they often impair their ability to have sex, urinate or perform other key life functions. That’s why a treatment plan that includes side effect management is especially critical for prostate cancer patients. Supportive care services, for example, may help ease the pain, erectile dysfunction and other challenges that may result from surgery or radiation therapy.