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5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Prostate Cancer

A diagnosis of prostate cancer no longer carries the impact it once did. Strides in research and technology have made the disease treatable and has assigned it a positive prognosis, with early detection. However, it is still a serious disease that must be dealt with as such. Once you have received a diagnosis of prostate cancer, there are some very important questions you should ask in order to be an active part of your own treatment.

How advanced is my cancer?

It is important to understand how far along the cancer has developed in order to consider your treatment options. Your physician will discuss with you all available options and make his recommendations. The decision will be based, in large part, on how advanced your specific case of prostate cancer is. If it has been detected early, you will have more options, according to your general health and well being.

What risks are involved with each treatment?

No medical treatment is without risks an side effects. You will want to understand these completely before choosing an option. Once you have all of the facts regarding each prostate cancer treatment, you can weigh the risks against the advantages of each.

Which additional health care providers should be involved in my treatment?

The answer to this question may differ according to your personal health. A cancer specialist may consult with a urologist when treating prostate cancer. However, if you are a heart patient or a diabetic, there may need to be other physicians involved as well to ensure thorough, low risk overall care.

What is the likelihood of recurrence?

This is an important question when considering treatment options, but also for planning your life past your cancer treatments. Risk of recurrence is different for each kind of cancer and for every patient. Once you have chosen your prostate cancer treatment, talk to your doctor about the risk of recurrence and what measures should be taken, by him and by you, to prevent it.

What long term changes can I expect?

This is a question has a dual meaning, of sorts. The first half of this question deals with the long term of effects of prostate cancer treatment. Will there be any permanent changes in your ability to urinate, ejaculate, or achieve or maintain an erection? Second, you will want to know what long term changes you should make to your lifestyle to discourage recurrence of the disease and to optimize your own overall health, as a survivor of prostate cancer.

 

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