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Treatment Choices for Men With Early-Stage Prostate Cancer

  • Posted: 02/11/2011

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About This Booklet

As a man with early-stage prostate cancer, you will be able to choose which kind of treatment is best for you. And while it is good to have choices, this fact can make the decision hard to make. Yet, each choice has benefits (how treatment can help) and risks (problems treatment may cause).

Treatment often begins a few weeks to months after diagnosis. While you are waiting for treatment, you should meet with different doctors to learn about your treatment choices. Use this booklet to help you talk over treatment choices with your doctor before deciding which is best for you.

You will want to think about what is important to you. It’s also a good idea to include your spouse or partner in your decision. After all, having prostate cancer and the treatment choice you make affect both of you.

This booklet is a starting point.

Its purpose is to help you learn about early-stage prostate cancer, different treatments, and the benefits and risks of each type of treatment. Most men will need more information than this booklet gives them to make a decision about treatment. For a list of groups that provide more information and support, please see the Ways to Learn More section. Also, see that section if you have prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate or that has returned after treatment.

Things to Remember

There are many men with prostate cancer who have been in your shoes. Here are some things they would like you to know:

  • There are treatment choices—be sure to know them all.
  • Treatments and medical procedures keep getting better.
  • Make the treatment choice that is right for you.
  • Get the opinions of several different doctors, since some may suggest only the option they know best.
  • Take the time you need to research your treatment choices before making a decision. There’s often no need to rush.
  • Your spouse or partner plays an important role in the treatment that you choose and will be affected by your choice. Try to be open and honest with each other about your concerns.
  • Organizations and support groups can help you learn how others in your situation are coping with prostate cancer.
  • It is possible to live a full life after prostate cancer.

Man 1: I talked it over with my wife and son. I chose radiation therapy because we thought it was the best choice for my situation. Man 2: When my doctor said he would follow me closely without treatment, I thought he meant that I should give up. But after he explained my stage of cancer, it made sense to me. Now I know that I can decide to have treatment later. Man 3: My wife and I looked at the benefits and risks of each treatment. After talking with several doctors who specialize in prostate cancer, we decided that surgery was the best choice for me.