watchful waiting


(WACH-ful WAY-ting)
Closely watching a patient???s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change. Watchful waiting is used in conditions that progress slowly, are hard to diagnose, or may get better without treatment. 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.