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You have heard of active surveillance and watchful waiting, terms used for approaches to follow early stage and intermediate stage PCa rather than rushing in with aggressive, potentially risky and life-changing therapies such as radical surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Doctors still debate the value of these terms and others, such as monitoring, observation, and expectant management, says the American Cancer Society. Whatever you call it, two-thirds of men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer will never need aggressive therapies. They can live with their cancer and will die from another cause. The problem is that doctors can’t predict precisely who needs definitive treatment and who doesn’t. Hence, the need for patients to be followed actively. Active surveillance involves using some combination of with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, digital rectal exams (DREs), multi-parameter MRI scans, color-Doppler ultrasound exams, or biopsies.

Why does ASPI support the concept of the ProActive Patient? “Proactive” means you make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen to you.  Active means doing something. The prefix pro means before. We are active surveillance patients and also proactive patients. We and our life partners are deeply involved in our care. We discuss everything with our family doctors, oncologists and urologists. We consult with dietitians and urologic naturopaths, discussing how the right food and dietary supplements can improve not only our prostate health but our health overall. We consult with exercise physiologists and alternative healers. We search for answers to control our disease. We also discuss what proactive patients do when surveillance is no longer possible because their disease is becoming more aggressive and may be spreading to other organs.

Active Surveillance may be appropriate for many men with low and intermediate risk PCa. In some instances interventional treatment may be appropriate as well. ASPI recommends a diligent Proactive decision making and monitoring process for men adopting the Active Surveillance approach.

We urge you and your partner to sign up for our newsletter below and join the movement to be a ProActive patient. We will release informative content and updates to our newsletter subscribers relative to the topic of Active Surveillance.

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