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Active Surveillance for Leukemia

Blood tests and biopsies can help doctors detect prostate cancer at a very early stage. Some cancers grow slowly (and may not cause problems), while others progress quickly. The concept of active surveillance, sometimes called “watchful waiting,” has become a common option for those who decide not to undergo immediate treatment with surgery or radiation therapy.

Active surveillance simply means that your doctors will keep a close eye on you and is recommended for patients who are concerned that the side effects of treatment are greater than the benefits or those who have a lower risk of developing cancer than the health risks involved with their other medical conditions. Elderly patients and those with relatively slow-growing, localized prostate cancer may be candidates for active surveillance depending on their medical history. Our leukemia cancer specialists help these patients weigh the benefits of treatment compared to the possible risks and side effects of treatment.

In general, to be eligible for active surveillance, patients should have the following characteristics:

  • Life expectancy of 10 years or less (based on age or health status)
  • A favorable Gleason score
  • Small, localized tumors (determined after a biopsy)
  • Willingness and ability to return for regular follow-up tests

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