​When you are first diagnosed with prostate cancer, you are likely to be quite distressed after hearing the “C” word. 

 

You may also be expected to face the challenges of choosing your method of treatment.

 

Currently the NHS tend to offer just five options depending on the stage of the disease:

  • surgery (robotic prostatectomy)

  • radiotherapy

  • brachytherapy

  • hormone therapy

  • active surveillance 

However, depending on your diagnosis, your age and the pathology of your prostate cancer, you may not be eligible for all five options.

There are a number of other treatments which including cryotherapy, high intensity focused ultra-sound, proton beam therapy, chemotherapy and steroids which it may be possible to access.

It may also be the case that new treatments may not have been adopted by the NHS but may be available privately.

Questions you may wish to ask

The following is a set of questions which you may like to ask your Consultant or Specialist Nurse in helping you to make an informed choice:

  1. Could you please explain the treatment you offer?

  2. What preparations and actions would you advise to take before and after treatment?

  3. How many procedures did you perform last year and, since you became a medical specialist?

  4. What have been the actual side effects (incontinence, sexual dysfunctions, others) your patients have reported?

  5. If my cancer is low grade (PSA less than 10, Gleason score 3+3=6 or less, age 60 or older), should I consider Active Surveillance and avoid over treatment and side effects as recommended by N.I.C.E?

  6. Other than basic monitoring, how would my surveillance be managed by the NHS?

  7. What prognosis (outcome over next 5 to 10 years) would you make if I choose your treatment?

  8. If the cancer returns, what are the treatment options and likely new prognosis?

  9. Are there any other points or issues I should consider?

  10. If you (Consultant) were in my shoes what option would you choose?

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