• Low Risk

    Sky: Studies now show that men with the Low-Risk type of prostate cancer can safely be monitored with regular checkups instead of having immediate surgery or radiation. Monitoring is generally preferred because treatment causes serious problems such as difficulty holding urine or trouble getting an erection. One study of over 1200 men reported that two years after surgery 78% of men were impotent and 10% were permanently incontinent. Monitoring is not right for every man with prostate cancer, but it’s a good option for men in the Sky category.

    The standard monitoring protocol consists of a PSA test every three months, digital rectal examination twice a year and a prostate biopsy one year after diagnosis and every two or three years thereafter. Annual imaging with a 3-Tesla endorectal MRI or a Color Doppler Ultrasound is also prudent. Some also undergo PCA-3 urinary testing once a year. While on observation many men modify their diet and exercise habits. Mild suppressive treatment with a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor such as finasteride or dutesteride can be considered.

    Active surveillance is not a commitment to forgo treatment. It is a commitment to monitor closely and intervene at the first sign of growth or change in the cancer. Close observation over time is the best way to distinguish men who can be safely watched from the men who genuinely need treatment.

    Low Risk (Sky)

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