“Active Surveillance” or “Watchful Waiting” are terms given to a method of delayed curative treatment. Generally, active surveillance refers to the close monitoring of your cancer with serial prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests, digital rectal exams (DRE) and/or ultrasounds at regular intervals (every 3 to 4 months) to see whether the cancer is growing for the initial two years post-diagnosis; and then extended to 6 monthly thereafter, until there is a change in your cancer diagnosis. This delays the initiation of curative active treatment, to reduce over-treatment and associated patient morbidity.
If you are a patient undergoing active surveillance, you may feel anxious about the lack of intervention being provided by your physician. If this is the case, you must first discuss this with your physician. Active surveillance is an appropriate form of response to some low-level prostate cancer diagnoses with low PSA and/or Gleason scores; or to older men with limited life expectancy or whom have many other co-morbidities.
Exercise is an effective additional therapy for cancer patients, and highly beneficial for men currently in active surveillance. Due to the low-grade, low-level, low-risk nature of this early-stage diagnosis of prostate cancer, men will be-able to participate in the beginner and advanced exercise programs provided in consultation with their local or remote accredited exercise physiologist and managing physician.
Exercise effectively improves physical and mental health, and positively influences the musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory systems; body composition; physical function; psychosocial function; and overall quality of life. Most importantly, early evidence also shows the capacity of exercise to suppress tumour formation and growth in cancer patients, which may in-fact slow your prostate cancer progression.