Active surveillance

With active surveillance, your doctor will monitor your condition but not treat it unless your symptoms worsen. This approach is typically used for newly discovered cancers.

To determine whether active surveillance is an option, your doctor may want to test your blood or take a small piece of tissue for analysis (biopsy). Monitoring is done on a strict schedule of visits with your doctor. In most cases, a follow-up visit is needed every 3 months in the first year after diagnosis. In the following 2 years the visits are scheduled every 6 months, and then once a year.

At each visit, the urologist asks questions about any noticeable changes in your health, performs a physical examination, and discusses the results of your blood tests. Before each visit, you might have an imaging (CT or ultrasound) of your abdomen to monitor tumour growth. An x-ray of your chest may be done to check your lungs.

If tests during follow-up show that the disease is advancing, the urologist will immediately plan further treatment.