Prostate cancer remains a major public health concern for men in the United States and the Western world, with about 200,000 men being diagnosed with prostate cancer and around 30,000 men dying from it in annually in the United States alone.
In the last decade, the use of serum Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening has led to more men being diagnosed earlier with prostate cancer that is curable and at times biologically confined to the prostate.
A few of these men diagnosed with prostate cancer are found to have what is deemed to be low risk disease, defined as PSA 10ng/ml or less, biopsy Gleason score 6 or less, and clinical stage T2a or less.
For these low risk low volume Gleason 6 patients, Active Surveillance (AS) is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to definitive treatment modalities such as radiation and surgery. It seeks to avoid the morbidity associated with overtreatment of indolent prostate cancer, and delay treatment for disease until it becomes clinically significant.