Active surveillance may be a treatment option for some types of low-grade brain or spinal cord tumours. Active surveillance means the healthcare team watches the tumour closely. Treatment is given if there are any signs that the tumour is growing or there is an increased risk that the tumour will progress.
Active surveillance is not known to have negative effects or to reduce long-term survival. It can be preferable to wait until symptoms appear and then start treatments at that time. This approach spares the person with a brain or spinal cord tumour unnecessary side effects related to treatment for the longest time possible.
A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.