Search Menu
Search entire library by keyword
Choose by letter to browse topics
A B C D E F G H I J K LM N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9
(A-Z listing includes diseases, conditions, tests and procedures)

Watchful Waiting for Prostate Cancer

If you have localized prostate cancer (cancer that has not spread to distant sites), you may choose to monitor your condition rather than seek immediate treatment. Watchful waiting is one form of expectant management for prostate cancer that may be effective for men with limited life expectancy and slow-growing, low-risk disease.

Track Symptoms Instead of Test Results

Watchful waiting is intended for patients who are too old or too sick with other life-threatening illnesses to benefit from local therapy. Instead of using active surveillance to track routine test results, patients simply observe their own symptoms and inform their doctor if changes occur. The goal of watchful waiting is to observe the prostate cancer until it has metastasized (spread to distant sites) or started to cause symptoms such as pain or blockage of the urinary tract. At that point, patients may choose treatment.

Avoid Side Effects of Treatment and Testing

Similar to active surveillance, patients under watchful waiting may choose to delay treatment because of its associated risks and side effects. With watchful waiting, men with compromised health can also avoid the side effects associated with repeated tests and biopsies.

Find a physician at another Johns Hopkins Member Hospital:
Connect with a Treatment Center:
Find Additional Treatment Centers at:
woman holding pill case

Johns Hopkins Home Care

We provide high quality, individualized care for patients of all ages where you feel most comfortable – your home or community. Our services and equipment are designed to help you regain and retain a level of independence.

Learn More