If you have prostate cancer you should know:
1-If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer (PC), never, never, decide on a treatment until you visit a Medical Oncologist who specializes in prostate cancer. You may end-up with serious side effects that may last for years or forever.
2-Furthermore, you should consult with all three PC Specialists. Delay any treatment decision until you have seen the Radiation Oncologist, Urologist (surgeon), and Medical Oncologist. The average primary care physician usually is not as knowledgeable.
3-Do not select a treatment that a relative or friend had. Every case is unique.
4A-Be aware of misleading and obnoxious ads
Be aware of misleading and obnoxious ads saying early detection improves survivorship. Here is a typical found on Google on November 3, 2014:
“The 5-year survival rates for the most common types of prostate cancer are nearly 99 percent, If the cancer is found early, when it is still localized. Once the cancer spreads beyond the prostate, the survival rates fall.”
The truth is almost every man will live with prostate cancer for at least 5 years without any treatment !! The doctors who treat want you to think their treatment will result in a 99 percent survival.
If a man is diagnosed with an advanced PC, treatment may not save his life even with today’s arsenal of new drugs. If he is diagnosed with an aggressive PC that has not yet spread past the prostate or surrounding tissue, he has a good chance of a long survival. Therefore I am for screening but treating only the aggressive prostate cancers.
If diagnosed with PC, please see a Medical Oncologist who specializes in PC before having any treatment. This is a must, regardless what any other specialist recommends.
4B- About seventy five percent (75%) of men do not need immediate treatment, and about half of these men may never need any treatment. The tremendous advantage of delaying treatment is the added years without side effects.
5- If you meet the criteria for delaying treatment, (See Active Surveillance Criteria), do not let any doctor frighten you into believing you are in danger. This is a scare tactic. Men doing Active Surveillance are very closely monitored to prevent an out-of control situation.
6- The death rate for men who do Active Surveillance (Delayed treatment) is identical to men who are treated shortly after treatment. The Quality of Life of men delaying treatment is drastically better.
7-Treatment Options. Hospitals and doctors are big business’s and are selling their services. They are biased. You should be concerned about what is best for you. Compare treatment options they recommend. Self Serving physicians recommend treatments good for them.
8-Many PC doctors believe Robotic and Laparoscopic Robotic surgery is not as good as the standard open surgery. Read the pros and cons herein. Everyone agrees that the standard open surgery is less expensive for the patient.
9-There are different types of radiation treatment. Learn about the pros and cons. Visit the Treatment Options Segment
10- Every treatment has side effects. Some last a short time others last a life time.
11-Doctors usually minimize the occurrence of terrible side effects. Have you noticed how many doctors advertise they specialize in overcoming side effects? Why are so many doctors specializing in treating side effects, if there so few side effects??
12-PSA fluctuates with time of day, and other factors. Do not be rushed into any hasty treatment decision just because the PSA increases. Have your PSAs at approximately the same time to negate this factor.
13-A Gleason Grade does not convert into a higher and more aggressive Gleason Grade cancer. No test or analysis has ever determined otherwise. The biopsy may have missed a more aggressive grade cancer. This is why a second or third biopsy is often performed, to try to overcome any sampling error.
14- If your biopsy indicates a Gleason Score of 8, 9 or 10, your lead physician should be the Medical Oncologist.
15–An independent PC support group has many advantages. One is the members know which doctors are good. (Doctors usually recommend people they work and associate with.) Support group members discuss different types of treatment, and are well represented with men who are having a recurrence, discuss diets, and many other topics. You may benefit from this information.
16- A doctor with much experience is often not as desirable as a doctor who has more talent.
Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio were not at bat more frequently. They had an inherent capability to get better results. Doctors are the same. Ask their patients.
17- About 50% to 60% of men treated will have a recurrence. The Recurrence Segment lists the various reasons. Therefore when you compare delayed treatment to being treated, the immediate treatment does not mean you are cured and live happily thereafter. Consider the delayed treatment option. The end results are the same, but the Quality of Life is drastically better without treatment
18- Diet- Many food, pill, and supplement industries advertises that their product will prevent or minimize the chances of developing PC. There is more proof that some of these are useless and even bad for you. Read our Diet and Nutrition Segment
19-The FDA has issued warnings that men taking Testosterone supplementation treatments are at a greater risk of having an heart attack or stroke. Beware.