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Curr Oncol. 2010 Sep;17 Suppl 2:S11-7.

Active surveillance for prostate cancer: patient selection and management.

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University of Toronto,Toronto, Ontario.


Screening for prostate cancer using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has been appealing. However, the significant associated decline in prostate cancer mortality comes at the cost of a very high rate of diagnosis, and many patients with indolent, non-life-threatening cancer are exposed to the risk of significant side effects from radical treatment. Most men with favourable-risk prostate cancer are not destined to die of their disease, even in the absence of treatment. The challenge is to identify the subset that harbour more aggressive disease early enough that curative therapy is still a possibility, thereby allowing the others to enjoy improved quality of life, free from the side effects of treatment. This article reviews current research into active surveillance in favourable-risk disease and some of the issues that arise when prostate cancer is monitored rather than being treated immediately.


Cancer screening; active surveillance; overdiagnosis; psa

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