How does a man make a choice between active surveillance and treatment?

In a study with colleagues in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, we evaluated the factors that influenced a decision regarding active surveillance versus surgery using a computer simulation (Markov model). The men best suited for surveillance would appear to be those that:

  • Have the ability to live with cancer without worry reducing their quality of life
  • Are most concerned about the potential side effects of treatments
  • Value near term quality of life to a greater extent than any long term consequences that could occur

Each man should carefully weigh the potential loss of quality of life with treatment (radiation or surgery), against the possibility that the window of opportunity for cure will disappear without treatment.