If I am diagnosed with prostate cancer, what do I do?

Expert Opinion published on January 13, 2012 in Treatment
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Dan Zenka, APR
Senior Vice President, Communications
The Prostate Cancer Foundation
Prostate Cancer Patient and Advocate
If I am diagnosed with prostate cancer, what do I do?

You know, I speak to many patients through my blog and through people I meet in my work with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The first thing I tell patients when they tell me they have just been diagnosed is, “Do not put any cart before the horse.” As I mentioned, there are more than 26 genotypes or varieties of prostate cancer. Yes, there are some very slow growing or indolent non life-threatening types and there are the very aggressive types. So they need to, in consultation with their physician, understand the possible aggressiveness of the cancer, look at all the treatment options that are available to them. If they have a medium-grade prostate cancer, proactive surveillance or what many men know as watchful waiting might be a very good option for them. Sometimes the best treatment is not to treat. And that would entail quarterly PSA draws to see if the PSA scores are holding and then we know at that point that we do not need to progress to more aggressive treatment. If it rises then they can opt for different treatment options.

Once again, as I said, patients need to keep in mind that no one size treatment fits every patient. There are a range of treatments as I said from proactive surveillance to radiation therapy to brachytherapy, which is the implantation of seeds localized in the prostate to kill cancer, then there is radical prostatectomy, and they need to go through all of the options based upon the data they have and make the decision based upon their case, their age, their lifestyle wishes and arrive at an informed decision and treatment that is right for the patient.

Last modified: February 7, 2012
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