When a doctor informs you or a loved one that the results are positive for prostate cancer, chances are the next sentences out of his or her mouth are going to blur into oblivion. After all, this is a scary diagnosis that can very well mean drastic changes to the normal routine are just around the corner.
There’s no reason to panic, however. Take a good, long deep breath, regroup and then start working with your doctor to determine the best possible treatment plan for your particular case. While your doctor is best positioned to provide medical advice, you, too, have a say in how things proceed. With that in mind, here are some tips that can help the two of you – and your family and friends – decide on the best possible course of action:
- Find out if your cancer has been staged – Prostate cancer tends to be very slow growing. Finding out if it’s in its earliest stage can help you and your doctor make sound treatment plans. It may be, for example, that a slowing growing cancer is detected in your later years. If this is the case, the best course of action may be to watch and wait.
- Ask for all recommendations for treatment – In its earlier stages, prostate cancer can often be treated using a variety of procedures. Ask about them and find out which options your doctor recommends and why. In some case, for example, a doctor may have very good reason to recommend a more radical procedure, such as a prostatectomy. In others, seed implant, or brachytherapy, might be indicated. Don’t be afraid to ask about the options and why your doctor is recommending one course of action over another.
- Get a second opinion – Never be afraid to seek out a second opinion on not only the diagnosis, but also the best course of action for treatment.
When prostate cancer is the diagnosis, men are likely to find that treatment options do exist. Be sure to inquire about them and work with your oncologist to determine the best treatment fit for your particular case.