Many men live for more than 20 years with prostate cancer. Observation is a recognized therapy option for prostate cancer, and is often discussed in two different scenarios:
- Watchful Waiting - A more passive approach that consists of occasional PSA testing and digital rectal exams, usually as part of a yearly checkup
- Active Surveillance - A more aggressive monitoring approach consisting of more frequent PSA and digital rectal exams, and repeated biopsies at 6 month or yearly intervals
Both therapies are meant to monitor the patient's situation. If tests indicate it, additional tests or treatments may be required if, over time, the PSA trends upward radically, or if a biopsy indicates tumor growth.