What are the criteria for active surveillance?

What are the criteria for active surveillance?

Oncologist Mark Scholz Transcript

Title: What are the criteria for active surveillance?

Most people are familiar with PSA, a blood test measures how much cancer is present in an indirect fashion. And we like the PSA to be less than 10. And also we are more comfortable if the PSA has been stable for a period of time and not rising on a consistent fashion. A third thing about PSA we can look at the relationship between how big the prostate gland is and how much PSA is present. Men with big prostate glands are allowed a higher PSA. Men with smaller glands are expected to have a lower PSA. All these factors are taken into account just with PSA testing.

Then we look at the needle biopsy that men have and how much disease is present. Is it just simply 1 core… 1 needle core that has cancer or is it 5 or 10 cores. Obviously the men that have just 1 or 2 cores are a much better candidate.

And lastly we look at the grade of the cancer. How angry the cancer looks under the microscope and there’s a system of 1 to 10 that’s used and it turns out anything graded 6 or below is low grade… 7 is inbetween… 8 to 10 is high grade. So all men that have 6 or below, men who have less than 2 or 3 cores involved and have PSAs less than 10 are potential candidates for active surveillance.

The newly-diagnosed men that we see in this practice I would estimate that about 1/3 of men that we see these days are offered active surveillance as an option for their treatment initially.

Closing Title: Criteria for active surveillance are well-established.

Oncologist Mark Scholz discusses the key criteria that establish eligibility for active surveillance.
Oncologist Mark Scholz

Dr. Scholz is a board-certified medical oncologist and serves as Executive Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to patient education and research. The PCRI website (pcri.org) provides a wealth of information for prostate cancer patients. In addition, PCRI serves the needs of patients and significant others with a help-line staff that provides free, informational consultations.

Dr. Scholz is the co-author with patient Ralph Blum of the book Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers: No More Unnecessary Biopsies, Radical Treatment or Loss of Potency. Prostatesnatchers.blogspot.com provides regular blog postings from Mark and Ralph.  Mark has advised many patients navigating a regimen of active surveillance along with men following all of the other prostate cancer interventions and courses of treatment.
Video reviewed and approved by Dr. Scholz, August 1, 2015