What are the risks from active surveillance?
Oncologist Mark Scholz Transcript
Title: What are the risks from active surveillance?
The risks of active surveillance are first and foremost I think that you might have an inferior quality of life. People who have surgery or radiation and don’t get all the side effects can put this disease behind them and move on and not think about prostate cancer. Whereas men on active surveillance they’re still in the mix constantly… they’re seeing their doctor, getting PSA testing, and the anxiety that that may engender is probably is probably the risk associated with active surveillance.
The risks I just described are a far smaller burden than the risks of having surgery or radiation. Even if you have surgery or radiation you still have some uncertainty as to whether you’re cured or not, of course. It’s not completely a get out of jail free card. The risk that you pointed out which is what on everyone’s mind is well what’s the chance that the cancer will grow or escape where I could lose a chance for being cured whereas if I treated the disease immediately I would have a good chance for being cured. And in the studies that have been done in that regard suggest that the chances of that happening are quite small.
Closing Title: Consider all risks carefully before making a choice