Active Surveillance or Watchful Waiting

 
 

Information

Watchful Waiting

Closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change. Watchful waiting is sometimes used in conditions that progress slowly. It is also used when the risks of treatment are greater than the possible benefits. During watchful waiting, patients may be given certain tests and exams. Watchful waiting is sometimes used in prostate cancer. It is a type of expectant management.

Active Surveillance

Closely following a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless there are changes in test results. Active surveillance may avoid or delay the need for radiation or surgery. It is used to find early signs that the condition is getting worse. During active surveillance, certain exams and tests, including biopsies, are done on a regular schedule. It is used in prostate cancer. It is a type of expectant management.

*Source: National Cancer Institute