Active Surveillance For Prostate Cancer - What to do?

Q:

My grandpa is 82 years, last month he was found with a small tumor at prostate. We were planning for a surgery. Then his doctor told him not to and to take active surveillance. Is it the right way to treat the tumor? What shall we do? Doctor also mentioned his Gleason score is 3.4, said it’s less risky.

A:

Active surveillance for prostate cancer is used to avoid treatment side effects in men with a very low risk of prostate cancer progression. Prostate cancer grows very slowly, many men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer may live out their normal life spans before the cancer ever grows large enough to require treatment.

Generally speaking, cancers with lower Gleason scores (2 – 4) tend to be less aggressive, while cancers with higher Gleason scores (7 – 10) tend to be more aggressive.  Low Gleason score means the tumor cell is low-grade tumor cells which look like normal cells.

However, doctors usually don’t take Gleason score as the only factor when considering active surveillance. Because, even though the tumor is less riskly, there’s a chance the tumor will grow. There’re other factors to consider, including size of the tumor, and health condition of the patient.

When the tumor size is small, Gleason score is low, if the patient isn’t in a condition good enough for a surgery, doctors tend to recommend active surveillance.

During active surveillance,  patients need to regularly visit doctors. Some tests will be arranged during the visit, including PSA blood test, digital rectal exam, MRI or ultrasound, prostate biopsy.

 

 

 

 

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.