The time just after you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer can be a time of conflicting emotions and difficulty in sorting through all that needs to be done or discussed with loved ones.
When you first start to explore treatment options, be sure to ask your physician a number of questions before making a decision of which option is the best for you.
Many men rush into a decision about treatment without first exploring their options and asking the right questions. A few days of hard thinking and soul searching now may save you a good deal of problems in the future.
So what are the five most important questions that you should ask before choosing a treatment option?
Note: You should ask these questions and any others you have of EACH physician that you see. This means you should not only ask your surgeon, but also your radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, and general physician as well.
- Which treatment option do you recommend while keeping in mind my age, overall health, and stage of cancer?
- For each treatment option, what are the benefits, costs, and possible side effects that I need to be aware of when making my decision?
- What is the likelihood that my cancer will be controlled or cured with each treatment option? (or) What is the likelihood that my cancer will continue to spread with each treatment option?
- What side effects or complications should I expect from each treatment option and what will these prevent me from doing? Working? Exercising? Enjoying hobbies?
- If I choose one of these treatment options and it fails to control my cancer, what options would I then have for further treatment?
It is crucial that you take the time to ask these five questions as well as any others that you and your family feel are important.