Edward Weber, M.D. offers advice For Patients of Prostate Cancer. 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.
For Patients: Newly Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
It is likely that you, or someone you care about has recently received a prostate cancer diagnosis. When facing a diagnosis, there are a lot of things for you to consider, including:
Prostate cancer or a benign condition ?
How bad is this prostate cancer ?
Which treatment is right for you ?
What are the side-effects of treatment ?
How long is the recovery time ?
Which Doctor is best ?
The good news is that the probability of survival for most Prostate Cancer patients is very good.
Most prostate cancers are diagnosed with two simple tests, a blood test and a digital rectal exam, or DRE. The blood test reveals levels of Prostate Specific Antigen, PSA, in the blood, which can indicate the possibility of cancer. Elevated PSA levels combined with positive DRE results indicate the likelihood of prostate cancer.
Watchful waiting, also know as active surveillance, is a treatment choice for men in the low risk group, who have prostate cancer that is not likely to spread. By keeping a close eye on your cancer, serious side effects from treatments like surgery, radiation and hormone therapy can be avoided until absolutely necessary.
For Patients: What Should You Do Next?
It is extremely unusual that there is any need for you to rush to a decision. Most cancers have been quietly sitting in the prostate, slowly growing for 10-15 years. You haven’t just gotten cancer, you have just been diagnosed with cancer, that you have been living with for a long time.