Advice for Patients with Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Treatment Research Foundation
Increasing Knowledge – Building Hope You have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
If your diagnosis came as a result of a schedule of appropriate PSA testing, it’s very likely
the disease has been found early. This comes as a surprise to most men and they are quite
anxious at this point. Being told you have prostate cancer is a frighting message carrying
heavy baggage. The normal urge is to plunge into a crash course to learn how to manage
this unwelcome intrusion into your life, a crash course that you are unlikely to know
how to handle objectively. So, what to do? Stop, take a deep breath, step back a bit,
and think carefully. It is extremely unusual that there is any need to rush to a decision.
Most cancers have been sitting quietly in your prostate and growing for 10 to 15 years,
with the most aggressive ones developing over 10 or so years. So you haven’t just “gotten”
prostate cancer. You just have been “diagnosed” with prostate cancer that you have been
living with for a long time. Likely your diagnosis has been made by a biopsy
performed by a urologist, an expert in the surgical management of prostate cancer. It’s
extremely important for you to know that any cancer; low grade, intermediate, or high grade can
be successfully treated with surgery, augmented if need be by radiation, external beam radiation
therapy, permanent radioactive seed placement, for example brachytherapy, combined if indicated
by external radiation, and proton therapy. In some cases cryotherapy or short course
of focused radiation with Cyberknife technology is chosen. Active surveillance is a very important
option for management of low-risk cancer. It warrants serious consideration and discussion. Take your time and learn about the treatment
options available to you. You may want to consider several of these. In most situations,
all of these are reasonable options. But for some men their individual situations makes
a particular option the better choice. Nor do all options suit every man’s emotional
reaction to the diagnosis or his preferences. So what should you do? You do not need to become an instant expert.
Instead, you need to have consultations with possibly several specialists who can describe
their treatments and help you decide which treatment fits you best. In the process you
may well have consultations with a urological surgeon and possibly several radiation therapists
each skilled in a special type of radiation therapy. If your disease is more complex,
you may want to have an option from medical oncologist, which is what I am. It’s important to be informed, but you don’t
need to do this alone. That’s what the specialists are there for. This is the time for deliberation, since once treated you cannot reverse the course. After stopping, and thinking, and gaining
expert guidance, then take action. Most not all of the mental fuzz of anxiety and consternation
will subside. But when you have made a considered decision you will feel very comfortable. Then you can devote your energy to the goal
of successful treatment and recovery. The outcome of therapy for this disease is generally
excellent, very likely much better than you might have thought. With careful deliberation
on your part and treatment by experts, your will be able to make this usually good
outcome, your outcome. Prostate Cancer Treatment Research Foundation
www.pctrf.org

Advice for Patients with Prostate Cancer
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