The Evolving Role of Active Surveillance as a Treatment Plan for Prostate Cancer

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Topics include: Treatment and Understanding

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Most of us have heard the saying, “more men die with prostate cancer than of it.” On this episode of Patient Power sponsored by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), Dr. Daniel Lin, an expert on the ground floor of the research will help listeners to understand who needs to be on active surveillance and what studies are improving surveillance methods. Dr. Lin is an Associate Professor and Chief of Urologic Oncology in the Department of Urology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He leads several multi-institutional clinical trials in prostate cancer and receives funding for translational research with a specific focus on prostate cancer progression and prevention. Dr. Lin’s patients Lee and Stephen, who both chose active surveillance, also join the discussion to share why they favored active surveillance over aggressive treatment.

Lee, a resident of Seattle, Washington, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2007. His father passed away from prostate cancer after waiting too long to see a physician, so Lee knew the importance of acting quickly. Lee did his research and is currently on active surveillance and considers himself to be quite “lucky.” Like Lee, Dr. Stephen Gloyd was also recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. His PSA levels were sporadic, so with much understanding and research behind him, careful watchful and waiting vs. aggressive intervention was his preferred option. Dr. Gloyd is currently in an active surveillance clinical trial where the cancer is being closely monitored.

Dr. Lin defines active surveillance as a individualized treatment for men who are fit for curative therapy, but chose to delay it. So who are the best men for surveillance? Is active surveillance the same as doing nothing? Listen or read about active surveillance, the utility of the PSA, monitoring methods and watchful waiting. If you are interested in learning more about active surveillance for prostate cancer, this program offers a great deal of expertise and knowledge on the subject.

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Transcript

But first, let’s meet a gentleman who has chosen to pursue this approach. With me is a gentleman from the Seattle area, Lee, who has been participating in active surveillance.  Actually he’s in a clinical trial.  We’ll talk about research and active surveillance.  So, Lee, you are 56 years old.  Let’s go back about three years.  You had been having regular PSAs and physical exams to keep an eye on whether prostate cancer might develop.  Why were you so diligent, if you will, on being checked?  Why was prostate cancer even on your mind? 

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