What Is 'Watchful Waiting,' And If That Is The Chosen Treatment, How Often Is A PSA Test Or Biopsy Required?

Dr. John Cole answers the question: 'What Is The 'Watchful Waiting' Approach?'

March 16, 2009 -- Question: What is 'watchful waiting,' and if that is the chosen treatment, how often is a PSA test or biopsy required?

Answer: Watchful waiting is a strategy by which patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, who are felt to be at low risk for progression of their disease, are observed. This observation requires digital rectal examinations of the prostate and PSAs at least every six months and periodic prostate biopsies to monitor the disease for possible progression.