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Active Surveillance

Many men diagnosed with prostate cancer don’t need to be treated right away. This is because most prostate cancers grow slowly and are unlikely to spread outside of the prostate. Men with prostate cancer that has a very low risk of growing quickly or spreading may be offered active surveillance. This means that your healthcare team watches the cancer closely rather than giving treatment right away. They will use tests and exams to check if prostate cancer is progressing or if your condition is getting worse. Treatment is given when you develop symptoms or the cancer changes.

Men older than 75 years of age with a low-risk prostate tumour are more likely to die from other diseases rather than from prostate cancer. These men are often unlikely to notice any signs or symptoms of cancer for many years. Active surveillance is often preferred to treatment in older men and those with severe medical problems, especially if their life expectancy is less than 10 years.

Black men are less likely to choose active surveillance either due to lack of awareness or possibly due to how prostate cancer appears to be more severe among Black Men.