How Can I Try And Make Sure The End Of My Life Is How I Want It To Be
Its a good idea to think about what care you would like to receive in the future. This may make things easier for you and your family. It is called advance care planning. You can make something called an advance care statement or an advanced decision. It can include some of the following:
- your wishes and preferences about the type of care you want
- whether you would refuse treatment in specific circumstances
- who you would like to be asked for a decision about your care, if you are unable to make it yourself
- where you would like to be cared for for example, at home, in a hospice or hospital
- where you would like to die
These can be very difficult decisions to think about. You dont have to make any decisions if you dont want to. But it can be helpful to think about these things early on as it helps your doctor or nurse to plan your care according to your wishes. They will discuss these issues with you and should keep a record of your decisions. But its a good idea to keep a record of your decisions yourself, and talk about them with your family too. Although it might be very hard, talking to those close to you about your wishes means they can help make sure they are carried out.Find out more from Dying Matters. If you change your mind at any time then you can change your plans or cancel them.Compassion in Dying also have more information about making an advance decision and Age UK have a fact sheet, Advance decisions, advance statements and living wills.
What Changes Do I Need To Make To My Diet
Discuss your post-surgery diet with your doctor as you will probably want to avoid or at least minimize issues such as constipation. The lack of exercise, the medication, even the stress, might affect your bowel functions. Your diet will be focused on eating more vegetables, fruits, grains and avoiding meat, especially the red one, pasta, alcohol, fast-food, sugar and processed desserts.
What About Trans People
People born with a prostate can develop prostate cancer. Individuals born without a prostate cannot develop prostate cancer.
Anyone born with a prostate should speak to their doctor about screening for prostate cancer.
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Are Older Men Undertreated
Schwartz and colleagues reviewed the treatment decisions and factors influencing them in a cohort of men with localized prostate cancer. Age, comorbidity, and Gleason score were found to be independent predictors of suboptimal treatment. It was concluded that most men older than 70 years with moderately or poorly differentiated tumors and no to mild comorbidity were given suboptimal treatment. Most of these men were undertreated, receiving watchful waiting therapy when potentially curative therapy could have been applied. With optimal treatment, clinical outcomes could have been improved.
Thompson and colleagues investigated otherwise healthy octogenarians diagnosed with prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy. At the last follow-up visit, 10 patients had survived more than a decade after surgery, and 3 patients had died within 10 years of surgery. The remaining 6 patients were alive at less than 10 years of follow-up. Seventy-four percent of patients were continent. No patient had died of prostate cancer, and the 10-year, all-cause survival rate was similar to that observed in healthy patients 60 to 79 years old undergoing radical prostatectomy. These findings indicate that careful selection of patients even older than 80 years can achieve satisfactory oncologic and functional outcomes after surgery. It is important to note, however, that the rate of urinary incontinence after surgery exceeds that of younger counterparts.
What Is The Extent Of My Prostate Cancer
Most likely you’ve already had some tests done which may have included a biopsy, blood tests, scans and other tests that can help the oncologist understand how advanced your prostate cancer is. S/He will give your cancer a stage based on size and location of the prostate cancer.
During your first meeting with the prostate cancer specialist they will evaluate what has already been done and may request a few more tests before recommending a treatment plan.
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How Can I Prevent Prostate Cancer
The best way to try and prevent prostate cancer is to modify the risk factors for prostate cancer that you have control over. Eat a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in animal fats. It is always a good idea to maintain a healthy weight, get plenty of exercise and not to smoke or to quit smoking.
Try A Different Cancer Treatment
Sometimes, switching your prostate cancer treatment can also help improve your health and lower the risk of cancer death.
For example, you can look into a different PSA test or try a new treatment option in hopes of seeing a lower Gleason score. And even if the cancer doesnt completely go away, it should at least shrink and bother you a lot less.
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What Happens After Undergoing Treatment
You will have routine check-ups throughout and after going through treatment to monitor its effectiveness. You may be required to go in for follow-up appointments. PSA blood tests are done regularly, and those attending to you can inform you of the frequency of these tests.
Reduced PSA levels are usually an indication of effective treatment. Make your physician aware of any side effects that you may be experiencing. There are many ways to deal with side effects. Ensure that you get the details of a person you can contact in case of any questions between check-ups.
What You Can Do
Its important that you learn all you can about advanced prostate cancer so you can make informed decisions. Be open with your doctors and others on your healthcare team. Express your concerns and feel free to advocate for yourself and your quality of life. Get another medical opinion if you feel its necessary.
Some complementary therapies may prove helpful in coping with advanced cancer. For example:
- tai chi, yoga, or other movement therapy
- music therapy
- meditation, breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques
A variety of services can help you with everything from lodging while youre getting treatment to getting some help around the house. Communicating with online or in-person groups are a good way to share information and lend mutual support.
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Understand Treatment Options And Risks
Regardless of your Gleason score or prostate cancer stage, every patients situation is unique. Its important that you fully understand yours by discussing it with your physician.
If you accurately diagnose and treat your prostate cancer, you can have a better chance of preventing it from getting worse .
The three main types of prostate cancer treatment are active surveillance, radiation therapy, and surgical removal . There are benefits and drawbacks to each treatment type.
For example, if prostate cancer is already spreading but was misdiagnosed or missed altogether, active surveillance may not be the best course of action. Similarly, a prostatectomy could be unnecessary if your prostate cancer is confined to a single, small T-stage tumor that can be closely monitored.
This is why working closely with your medical team to accurately diagnose your prostate cancer is so important. Accurate and early diagnosis followed by active, consistent treatment is the best path to fighting prostate cancer and preventing a recurrence.
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What Causes Prostate Cancer And Am I At Risk
Every man is at risk for prostate cancer as he ages. Although prostate cancer can affect younger men, about 6 out of 10 cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. The average age of diagnosis is 66. After non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer each year.
Although there are several known risk factors for getting prostate cancer, no one knows exactly why one man gets it and another doesn’t. Some important risk factors for prostate cancer are:
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Diarrhea Flatulence Or Painful Defecation
These symptoms usually occur after the second or third week of treatment. Symptoms will resolve after the treatment ends. During radiation, dietary modification usually helps reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea. Try to avoid or reduce fried foods, greasy foods and highly spiced foods. Reduce foods with insoluble fiber, such as lettuce and cauliflower, and increase low-fiber and soluable-fiber foods, such as bananas, mashed potatoes, applesauce, white rice, canned or cooked fruits and vegetables.
Maintain your intake of lean proteins, such as turkey, chicken and fish, and increase your fluid intake to avoid dehydration. Using moist toilet paper, baby wipes or sitz baths may help relieve rectal irritation. Your doctor may recommend anti-diarrheal medications. Contact your doctor if you see blood in your stool, if the diarrhea worsens or if you become light-headed or dizzy.
What About Other Treatments I Hear About
When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.
Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.
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How Bad Is The Pain After Prostate Surgery
The level of pain is lower than that of open prostatectomy, due to smaller incisions. However, you will be administered pain medication both orally and intravenously, through an IV. Make sure you have someone to pick you up from the hospital, as you wont be able to drive right away. Ask your doctor to recommend some pain medication and dosages that you can take from home most common ones are Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Even though the recovery is fast, you should get plenty of rest and not force yourself with lifting weights or exercises in the first few weeks.
What About My Physical And Emotional Wellness
Eating a healthy diet including a variety of foods, will ensure you have what your body needs to cope with treatment and recovery. Regular physical activity can improve your cancer recovery and reduce side effects such as fatigue.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for professional and emotional support.
- Consider joining a cancer support group.
- Learn to ignore unwanted advice and “horror stories”.
- Live day-to-day and remember that every day is likely to be different.
Complementary therapies can work alongside medical treatments and some have been shown to improve quality of life or reduce pain. There is no evidence that these therapies can cure or prevent cancer. Some have not been tested for side-effects, may work against other medical treatments and may be expensive. Talk to your doctor about using complementary therapies.
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Tips To Get The Most From Your Follow
Write down any questions or concerns beforehand
Itâs easy to forget what you want to say once youre at your appointment.
Bring someone with you
It can be hard to take everything in at your appointments. Some people find it helpful to take someone with them, to listen and discuss things with later. If your appointment is on the phone, you could ask a friend or family member to listen with you.
It can help to write things down during or after your appointment. Theres space for this in the appointment diary in our booklet, Follow-up after prostate cancer treatment: What happens next?
Ask to record your appointment
You could do this using your phone or another recording device. You have the right to record your appointment if you want to because its your personal data. But let your doctor or nurse know if you are recording them.
Ask for help
If there is anything bothering you, let your doctor or nurse know.
Ask for copies of any letters
If your appointment is at the hospital, ask for a copy of the letter that is sent to your GP. This will happen automatically at some hospitals. It will help to remind you of what was said at your appointment. If you donât understand the letter, call your main contact at the hospital or contact our Specialist Nurses.
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Find Support After A Diagnosis
The period of time right after a positive diagnosis of prostate cancer can be very lonely. You may feel hopeless, anxious, apprehensive, and even alienated from your friends and family. But youre not alone. Millions of men have experienced and continue to live with prostate cancer around the world.
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What Should I Expect As My Cancer Progresses
How does prostate cancer spread?
Prostate cancer cells can move from the prostate to other parts of the body through the blood stream. Or they can spread to the lymph nodes near the prostate and then travel through the lymph vessels to other parts of your body. Lymph nodes and lymph vessels are part of your lymphatic system and are found throughout your body.
Prostate cancer most commonly spreads to the bones and lymph nodes. It can also spread to, or press on, the tube you urinate through , the bladder, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder and part of the bowel . Prostate cancer may spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs and liver. But this is less common.
If tests and scans show that your cancer is spreading, ask your doctor what will happen next. This can help you and your family prepare for what to expect. Find out more about advanced prostate cancer and treatments.
Watch our video about advanced prostate cancer.
How does prostate cancer cause problems?
Prostate cancer can cause problems if it is pressing on your bones or nerves. It can also cause problems by stopping your normal cells from working properly.
What problems can advanced prostate cancer cause?
The symptoms and problems you have will depend on where the cancer has spread to. Even though your cancer is still growing, you will still be able to have treatment to help manage these problems.
Advanced prostate cancer problems may include:
What should I look out for?
Receiving Prostate Cancer Treatment At Moffitt Cancer Center
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we treat patients with all stages of prostate cancer. The multispecialty team within our Urologic Oncology Program includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, urologists, uropathologists and many other medical professionals who collaborate as a tumor board to ensure each patient receives an individualized treatment plan tailored to his needs. Moffitt patients also have access to many supportive care professionals at the same location where they receive treatment to help them address the emotional and physical challenges involved with undergoing treatment for metastatic prostate cancer.
If you would like to learn more about receiving metastatic prostate cancer treatment at Moffitt, call or fill out a new patient registration form. No referral is necessary to schedule an appointment.
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After Prostatectomy: What To Expect
At the hospital : You should expect to be in the hospital for one night. At Johns Hopkins, all rooms on the urology floor are private. Here, nurses help patients get moving shortly after surgery to prevent blood clots and other postoperative risks.
First few days at home : After youre sent home, you might find that regular ibuprofen or acetaminophen will be sufficient pain management for the first few days. If over-the-counter medications arent enough, your doctor can help you with alternatives.
One week after surgery : After your surgery site heals, your catheter will be removed. This is usually seven to 10 days after surgery. This can easily be done at your doctors office. Some people decide to take out their catheter at home. If thats the case, ask your doctor for instructions first.
This is also about the time your surgeon will call you with the final pathology results. He or she will discuss what you should know and whether further treatment is necessary.
One month after surgery : Doctors recommend no strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least one month after surgery. Most people take off work for three to four weeks. If you work from home, you could return to work sooner.
- Urinary incontinence
- Erectile dysfunction
Recovery from surgery takes time. These side effects are often temporary. However, if they are affecting your quality of life, ask your doctor about options that can help.
How Does The Doctor Know I Have Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly over many years. Most men with early prostate cancer dont have changes that they notice. Signs of prostate cancer most often show up later, as the cancer grows.
Some signs of prostate cancer are trouble peeing, blood in the pee , trouble getting an erection, and pain in the back, hips, ribs, or other bones.
If signs are pointing to prostate cancer, tests will be done. Most men will not need all of them, but here are some of the tests you may need:
PSA blood test: PSA is a protein thats made by the prostate gland and can be found in the blood. Prostate cancer can make PSA levels go up. Blood tests will be done to see what your PSA level is and how it changes over time.
Transrectal ultrasound : For this test, a small wand is put into your rectum. It gives off sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off the prostate gland. The echoes are made into a picture on a computer screen.
MRI: This test uses radio waves and strong magnets to make detailed pictures of the body. MRI scans can be used to look at the prostate and can show if the cancer has spread outside the prostate to nearby organs.
Prostate biopsy: For a prostate biopsy, the doctor uses a long, hollow needle to take out small pieces of the prostate where the cancer might be. This is often done while using TRUS or MRI to look at the prostate. The prostate pieces are then checked for cancer cells. Ask the doctor what kind of biopsy you need and how its done.
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