With active surveillance, your condition will be monitored but not treated unless your symptoms or disease worsen. This approach is typically used for low-grade or early-stage tumours. Active surveillance is done with consent of the patient to keep monitoring the tumour by regular follow-up with imaging and if necessary control-biopsy.
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.