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Watchful Waiting for Prostate Cancer

Miami urologist

Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez find that a patient’s first reaction when receiving the diagnosis of cancer is to question if it can be cured and what type of treatment will be needed. According to a new study, merely observing men with very low or low risk prostate cancers may be the best course of action.

Watchful waiting – which is termed “expectant management” – is an appropriate approach for many men with localized tumors. It avoids the devastating side effects of aggressive treatments – such as surgery and/or radiation – that not needed for many cases.

Your Miami urologist has found that since PSA screening tests have become more widely available, most men with prostate cancer are now diagnosed with localized, low-risk prostate cancers that are not likely to kill them.

However, the majority of these men undergo surgery or radiation, which places them at risk for long-lasting side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and compromised urinary function. And up to 40% of patients may currently be over-treated for their cancer.

Active surveillance and other observational strategies have produced excellent, long-term disease-specific survival and minimal illness for men with prostate cancer. Despite this, your Miami urologist reports that expectant management remains underused for men with localized prostate cancer.

Watchful waiting avoids aggressive testing and monitors for any physical symptoms of advanced disease. It is typically reserved for avoiding treatment altogether for older, sicker patients who will most likely die from other causes.

Questions remain regarding both the identification of ideal candidates for surveillance, as well as understanding the best monitoring strategy after the commencement of observational procedures. Using strict inclusion criteria for very low-risk or low-risk cancers can select a group of prostate cancer patients for active surveillance who would evade the side effects of therapy while experiencing comparable survival and quality of life.

Your Miami urologist reports that aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men. An estimated 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. Among those, nearly 30,000 patients will die. It is estimated that more than two million prostate cancer survivors are living in the U.S.

If you haven’t been screened for prostate cancer – don’t hesitate – make an appointment with best Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez today to schedule a confidential consultation.