Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Questions To Ask Doctor About Prostate Cancer

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My Doctor Wants To Try What He Calls Watchful Waiting Is This Something You Recommend

Some men are candidates for active surveillance but for others, this is too risky, and they should be treated instead. I always discuss active surveillance as an option when consulting with any newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient, although I never recommend ignoring prostate cancer.

There is a system of grading prostate cancer tissue based on how it looks under a microscope. This is called the Gleason score, and the grading ranges from 2 to 10 to indicate how likely it is that a tumor will spread.

For someone with low-risk prostate cancer , I recommend active surveillance. However, if this patient has anxiety about his prostate cancer, he might want to go ahead and treat it, just so he can stop worrying. His chances for cure are greater than 90 percent. But again, for most men in this situation, active surveillance is fine.

If someone with similar tumor characteristics is only 60 years old, I tell him active surveillance may be fine for the time being, but he will most likely need treatment at some point. Since any curative treatment has the potential for at least some side effects, he might at least put off treatment for a few years before having to deal with them.

Prostate Biopsies & Treatments With Dr Gregory Merrick

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Questions To Ask About Having Therapy Using Medication

  • What type of treatment do you recommend?

  • What is the goal of this treatment?

  • How will this treatment be given?

  • How long will it take to give this treatment?

  • Will I receive this treatment at a hospital or clinic? Or will I take it at home?

  • What side effects can I expect during treatment?

  • Who should I contact about any side effects I experience? And how soon?

  • What are the possible long-term effects of having this treatment?

  • What can be done to relieve the side effects?

What Are My Treatment Options If I Have Prostate Cancer There Seems To Be A Lot Of Different Treatments Out There

Prostate cancer: 11 common questions answered

The short answer is there are several ways to successfully treat prostate cancer . Your decision about which treatment to have will depend on which side effects you can best tolerate while undergoing treatment.

The American Urological Association periodically reviews all the published studies reporting treatment results for prostate cancer and it always comes to the same conclusion: taken as a whole, there is no difference in the likelihood of cure whether one has surgery or radiation therapy. Since cure rates are equivalent, however, men must consider their options and decide which treatment they want .

Before going further, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Not everyone with prostate cancer needs to be treated. As discussed above, active surveillance is appropriate for many men, sometimes for a short time and perhaps for a lifetime.
  • There are only two methods of curing prostate cancer – surgery and radiation therapy. Different specialists have differing opinions about surgery vs. radiation, and surgery AND radiation, and the timing of each of these treatments. But remember, prostate cancer is generally slow-growing. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a decision that will have consequences for the rest of your life.
  • Things like cryotherapy, high intensity focused ultrasound, microwave heating, laser ablation and a few other methods may be appropriate for prostate cancer that recurs after primary treatment, but these are not curative by themselves.
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    Questions To Ask About Having Hormonal Therapy

    • What type of hormonal therapy do you recommend?

    • What is the goal of this treatment?

    • How will this treatment be given?

    • Will I receive this treatment at a hospital or clinic? Or will I take it at home?

    • How long will I need to continue this treatment?

    • What side effects can I expect during treatment?

    • Who should I contact about any side effects I experience? And how soon?

    • What are the possible long-term effects of having this treatment?

    • What can be done to relieve the side effects?

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    Why Isnt Prostate Screening Recommended For All Men

    All screening tests have both risks and benefits. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to get screened:

    • Many prostate cancers grow so slowly that men won’t have symptoms or die from the cancer
    • Treatment for prostate cancer can cause problems like erectile dysfunction or loss of bladder control
    • Prostate screening sometimes says you have cancer when you really dont, and follow-up tests can cause problems like infections

    What Can I Expect To Feel Like After Surgery

    How to Prevent Prostate Cancer | Ask a Prostate Expert, Mark Scholz, MD

    Most people feel very well after the first two weeks, Dr. Baughman says. Most men can go back to normal activities within four to six weeks after surgery. A prostatectomy can have some side effects such as problems urinating, and problems getting an erection. These can take several weeks to months to resolve, and sometimes the side effects do not completely go away, although there are treatments to help. During the first few months after surgery, you probably will not be able to have a spontaneous erection and will need to use medication or other treatments.

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    What Do I Ask The Doctor

    When you visit the doctor, it helps to have questions written down ahead of time. You can also ask a family member or friend to go with you and take notes.

    Print this list of questions and take it to your next appointment.

    • Am I at high risk for prostate cancer?
    • Are there things I can do to lower my risk for prostate cancer?
    • What are the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening and treatment for me?
    • Are there any warning signs or symptoms of prostate cancer to look out for?
    • If the results of the screening test show that I might have prostate cancer, what are my options for diagnosis and treatment?

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    When Youre Told You Have Prostate Cancer

    • What are the chances that the cancer has spread beyond my prostate? If so, is it still curable?
    • Do I need any other tests before we decide on treatment?
    • Should I see any other types of doctors before deciding on treatment?
    • What is the clinical stage and grade of my cancer? What do those mean to me?
    • If Im concerned about the costs and insurance coverage for my diagnosis and treatment, who can help me?

    How Does Hormone Therapy Work

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    Hormone therapy may include drugs that prevent the testicles or other glands from producing hormones, or it may be given in combination with an orchiectomy, the surgical removal of one or testicles designed to reduce the amount of testosterone being produced.

    Possible side effects of hormone therapy include:

    • Loss of sex drive

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    Before Your Prostate Mri

    Your doctor and his team should be able to reassure you that MRI is radiation-free, make you comfortable with going through the scan, and explain what is meant by significant prostate cancer and why MRI excels at identifying it.

    • What do I need to do to prepare?
    • How long will the scan last?
    • What if Im claustrophobic?
    • Is there any radiation or side effects from MRI?
    • Do you use an endorectal coil?
    • Will I need an IV injection of a contrast agent?
    • Can the MRI tell me if I have prostate cancer?
    • Whats the difference between insignificant and significant prostate cancer?
    • Why is MRI better at finding significant prostate cancer?
    • What else can it tell me about my prostate gland?

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor: If Youre Considering Undergoing Prostate Cancer Surgery

    A surgical approach to treating prostate cancer entails removing all of the prostate. Typically, men with early-stage disease or cancer thats confined to the prostate will undergo radical prostatectomy– removal of the entire prostate gland, plus some surrounding tissue. Other surgical procedures may be performed on men with advanced or recurrent disease. If you are considering undergoing prostate cancer surgery, here are a few questions to discuss with your doctor:

    • Which surgical technique will be used? Open or robotic? How are they different?
    • Based on your experience, why is this the best approach for me?
    • Will you be able to save the nerves near the prostate that are responsible for erection?
    • What level of success have you had in preserving potency in your patients following surgery?
    • Will you be removing lymph-nodes to check for spread of cancer? What does this tell you about my prognosis?
    • What about preserving urinary continence?
    • What will you do if you find cancer outside of my prostate during surgery? Will that change my prognosis and future treatment?
    • What can I expect following the surgery in terms of recovery?
    • What are the likely or possible side effects of the surgery- both short term and long term?
    • What will we do to monitor my prostate cancer following surgery?

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    Questions To Ask Your Specialist

    A prostate cancer diagnosis can leave you anxious and confused, likely with more questions than answers. Being prepared with questions and thoughts can help guide conversations with your specialist or doctor, help you make informed decisions about what to do next, and choose the best pathway for you.

    Weve listed some of the most commonly asked questions below, which you will find in more detail in the Questions To Ask Your Specialist booklet which you can download and print. Just click on the image.

    Here are our key questions to ask your specialist:

  • Do I have prostate cancer and is it treatable?
  • What is the best treatment option for me?
  • What are the chances the treatment will work?
  • How long will my treatment take?
  • Are there any side effects to this treatment?
  • What should I do to prepare for treatment?
  • What happens following treatment?
  • At any point in time, who is my day-to-day contact?
  • Where can I get support and information?
  • What happens if my cancer comes back?
  • Prostate Cancer Screening : Questions For The Doctor

    Stories of Advanced Prostate Cancer Remissions | Ask a Prostate Cancer Expert, Mark Scholz, MD

    Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the United States and is more common in older men than younger men. While this article focuses specifically on prostate cancer screenings and questions you should ask your doctor, you can read more information about prostate cancer in our article on it. This article covers what prostate cancer is, how it develops, the basics of screening for it, and more.

    Depending on your age and other factors, your doctor may recommend getting screened for prostate cancer. Most commonly, prostate cancer screenings are completed for those aged 55 and up, but if you are younger than this and have concerns, predisposition, or other personal reasons, you should talk to your doctor about your risks and the possibility of being screened for it.

    If youre age 55 to 69:

    The decision to get screened is a personal choice that you can make after talking with your doctor, and you might decide that youre okay with the risks of getting screened, or you might decide the risks arent worth it. Together, you and your doctor can decide whats right for you and evaluate your options.

    If youre age 70 or older:

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    Prostate Cancer Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    At Sperling Prostate Center, we encourage patients and their loved ones to ask questions. However, many times patients may not be able to put their concerns into words. They arent sure what to ask.

    To help get you started, below are suggested questions listed by topic. Click on each blue bar for a drop-down list of questions. Dr. Sperling and our staff are happy to address your questions, because every question deserves an answer.

    Welcome To Prostate Cancer Aware

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    Radiation Therapy & Brachytherapy With Dr Peter Orio

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    Prostate Cancer Questions And Answers

    Prostate Cancer Progression
  • Can I participate in a clinical trial?

    Yes, we offer many clinical trials and will assess your eligibility if you are interested. Cancer clinical trials provide access to potential advancements in care and lead to innovations in cancer prevention and treatment. Participating in a clinical trial may offer you access to promising therapies and will contribute to research that can improve care for future cancer patients. Be sure to ask your doctor about prostate cancer clinical trials.

  • What treatment do you recommend for my type of prostate cancer and why?

    We offer a survivorship program after treatment to monitor for recurrence, manage treatment side effects and help promote general health.

  • My doctor has recommended hormonal treatment for prostate cancer. Are there side effects?

    Yes, there can be side effects, but we have many effective treatment options to manage symptoms of hormonal treatment.

  • Should I have genetic testing performed?

    Some men who have genetic changes that increase their risk of prostate cancer and other related cancers. Understanding these changes can help in treating you as the patient and your family as well. When we evaluate men who have, or are at risk, of prostate cancer we review your personal and family cancer histories in order to identify if genetic testing would be helpful in your care.

  • African Americans
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    Should I Get Radiation Therapy

    The decision to have radiation therapy shouldnt be taken lightly, especially if you have other health conditions. Specifically, if you have connective tissue disease or IBD, radiation therapy can inflame these conditions. Youll want to weigh the risks and the benefits with your doctor in this case. Other factors to consider are your age, cancer stage, and other therapies you may be on. And then there is the treatment itself. Radiation has its limits. In many cases, once you have radiation, you cant have radiation again, Dr. Kahn says. If you have surgery to remove the prostate, then radiation can be your backup plan.

    Questions About Prostate Cancer Treatment

    Treatment for prostate cancer depends on many factors, including the type and location of the disease. Here are the answers to some common questions about prostate cancer treatment:

    Should I consider surgery?

    A radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure in which the prostate is removed, along with any nearby tissue that contains prostate cancer cells. This is a common treatment for localized prostate cancer. The da Vinci® Surgical System allows the surgeon to offer this procedure using a minimally invasive approach.

    There are two options, open or laparoscopic surgery:

    • In an open radical prostatectomy, a surgeon makes a single long incision to remove the prostate.
    • In a laparoscopic prostatectomy, which may be performed using robotic assistance, the surgeon uses a mechanical device to remove the prostate via several small incisions. This may sometimes result in a quicker recovery time.

    Is radiation therapy an option for me?

    At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® , our radiation oncologists use a variety of therapies and tools to deliver maximum radiation doses, with less damage to healthy tissues and organs. Focusing the radiation directly on the prostate may lower the risk of side effects. Our range of radiation therapy options includes external beam radiation therapy, stereotactic body radiation therapy, high-dose rate brachytherapy and, increasingly less common, low-dose rate brachytherapy.

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