Watchful Waiting For Prostate Cancer

Written by Amy Hall
Bookmark and Share

Oftentimes, men who have enlarged prostate glands or who have high PSA levels but no malignancies are asked to watch and wait. This can, of course, be very difficult for many men to do, because they may feel like they always have the threat of cancer on their minds. However, it is important for men to realize that there are various benign conditions that do not require treatment and that never turn into cancer.

If your doctor has suggested that you watch and wait, he or she probably has good reason. Perhaps treating you with various drugs, such as with hormone therapy, may only bring on unwanted side effects that are harder for you to endure. Keep in mind that men who undergo hormone therapy often display female characteristics, such as breast enlargement, hot flashes, and mood swings. Impotence is another side effect of hormone therapy.

Prostate cancer tends to be very slow growing, and in most cases it is not diagnosed in men until their late sixties or early seventies. Since many growths are benign, the rate at which a benign growth could turn into a malignant growth could take years of watching and waiting. In such cases, men are often given the choice as to whether they wish to pursue treatment or wait it out and see what develops.

The Watching and Waiting Game Isn't for Everyone

If you have elevated PSA levels and your doctor has recommended that you wait it out, you may want to follow his advice for at least a year. Follow up your initial diagnosis with another screening a year later, and see if your PSA levels have jumped. If they have, you may then want to reevaluate your decision to wait it out. Your doctor can suggest some treatments that will put your mind at ease so you can get on with your life without all the worry.

Bookmark and Share