Active surveillance for brain and spinal cord tumours
Active surveillance may be a treatment option for some types of low-grade brain or spinal cord tumours. This means that your healthcare team watches your tumour closely rather than giving treatment right away. They will use tests and exams to check if the tumour is progressing or your condition is getting worse. Treatment is given when you develop symptoms or the tumour changes.
This approach helps avoid side effects that can happen with treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy. There is no evidence so far that people won’t live as long when they get active surveillance compared to other treatments. There is no evidence that active surveillance has other negative effects if or when you start treatment.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.