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Watchful Waiting

Glossary

watchful waiting

Closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change. Watchful waiting is sometimes used in conditions that progress slowly. It is also used when the risks of treatment are greater than the possible benefits. During watchful waiting, patients may be given certain tests and exams. Watchful waiting is sometimes used in prostate cancer. It is a type of expectant management.

Last updated: 2014-02-26

Source: The National Cancer Institute's Dictionary of Cancer Terms (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary)