Active surveillance for prostate cancer: An underutilized opportunity for reducing harm

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The management of localized prostate cancer is controversial, and in the absence of comparative trials to inform best practice, choices are driven by personal beliefs with wide variation in practice patterns. Men with localized disease diagnosed today often undergo treatments that will not improve overall health outcomes, and active surveillance has emerged as one approach to reducing this overtreatment of prostate cancer. The selection of appropriate candidates for active surveillance should balance the risk of harm from prostate cancer without treatment, and a patient's personal preferences for living with a cancer and the potential side effects of curative treatments. Although limitations exist in assessing the potential for a given prostate cancer to cause harm, the most common metrics used today consider cancer stage, prostate biopsy features, and prostate-specific antigen level together with the risk of death from nonprostate causes based on age and overall state of health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute - Monographs
Issue number45
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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