Leonard Gomella, chair of the urology department and director of the Kimmel Cancer Center Network at Jefferson University Hospitals, explains active surveillance when it comes to a prostate cancer diagnosis.
"Not all patients with prostate cancer require aggressive treatment," he says. "If, in meeting with your doctor, they discuss with you active surveillance versus actively treating the tumor, they need to really explain to you what active surveillance is. It's not that they're ignoring you, but it's keeping an eye on the cancer."
Active surveillance may be different for each practice, but "in general, it's a PSA (prostate-specific antigen test) and a rectal exam about every six month, and every year or two a biopsy of the prostate," he says.