Please note: Our next Awareness Night is Wed. Nov. 22, not Nov. 29 as has appeared in some places.

Making a Decision

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When most of us hear the word ‘cancer’, we usually don’t hear much after that.  Men with prostate cancer normally hear this news from a urologist who will tell them what treatment options are available to them. Often there are several treatment options and time to explore them.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Ask your doctor which treatments are available to you. Each treatment has its own pluses and minuses, and there are often side effects. Here is partial list of treatments.
  • Read up on each treatment.  There are books and web sites (please see the right sidebar) among other resources.  One should be careful when using Internet resources.
  • Use any contacts you have to find out which doctors are experts on each treatment.  Ask your family doctor or urologist to refer you.  Don’t be afraid to ask for more than one; get a second opinion.  See 7 tips for preparing to visit each doctor.
  • Go to each appointment prepared.  Take a list of written questions with you along with your test results and journal (if you have one).  It is also helpful to bring someone with you to take notes and to hear what you don’t.  Most doctors will even allow you to record the consultation – just make sure to ask first.
  • Talk to men who have actually had the treatments, perhaps at one of our peer support meetings.
  • Consult with your loved ones.
  • Gradually eliminate treatments that you feel are not for you.

At this point, your decision can probably be narrowed down to one or two options and you may be ready to make an informed decision.  Once you’ve made this decision, the worst part of the journey could be over.  Try not to second guess your decision.

A similar list of strategies, called ’11 Steps to Take Before Choosing Surgery or Radiation’ is available here.

Also available is a video presentation by Dr. Sharon Sharir from our Jan. 2014 Scotiabank Awareness Night titled “Decision-making and patient-doctor communication regarding prostate cancer”   Click here to view video.