Prostate Cancer – Watchful Waiting
Watchful waiting, or active surveillance, is based on the premise that some cases of localized prostate cancers may advance so slowly that they are unlikely to cause men ― especially older men with a short life expectancy ― any problems during their lifetimes. Some men who opt for watchful waiting have no active treatment unless symptoms appear. They are often asked to schedule regular medical checkups and to report any new symptoms to the doctor immediately.
Watchful waiting has the obvious advantage of sparing a man with clinically localized cancer, who typically has no symptoms, the pain and possible side effects of surgery or radiation. On the minus side, watchful waiting risks decreasing the chance to control a disease before it spreads, or postponing treatment to an age when it may be more difficult to tolerate. Of course, treatments may also improve over time if watchful waiting is chosen. Another potential disadvantage is anxiety; some men don’t want the worry of living with an untreated cancer.
Patients should educate themselves on the risks vs. benefits of not initiating definitive treatments for prostate cancer, and discuss the option of watchful waiting with their doctor.
While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci Surgical System when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary. There are no guarantees of outcome. All surgeries involve the risk of major complications. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation. Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate for every individual; it may not be applicable to your condition. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits. Only your doctor can determine whether da Vinci Surgery is appropriate for your situation. The clinical information and opinions, including any inaccuracies expressed in this material by patients or doctor about da Vinci Surgery are not necessarily those of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and should not be considered as substitute for medical advice provided by your doctor. All persons depicted are models unless otherwise noted. © 2011 Intuitive Surgical. All rights reserved. Intuitive, Intuitive Surgical, da Vinci, da Vinci S, da Vinci Si, Single-Site, InSite, TilePro and EndoWrist are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuitive Surgical. All other product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
PN 871996 Rev A 05/08