If you have been diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer (cancer that has metastasized beyond the prostate), your cancer may not be curable at this time, but treatments may slow the progression of the disease. A goal of oncology is for patients to “be there for the cure.” You want to be a partner in your care. Your doctor or treatment team can answer your questions and clarify any decisions you will need to make. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- What is the clinical state and Gleason score of my cancer?
- Is my cancer low, medium, or high risk?
- What are all of my current treatment options?
- What side effects might I experience with each of these treatments?
- Are any of these side effects permanent? Can they be treated?
- Will I experience any symptoms?
- Am I likely to experience any pain? If so, how is it managed so I have none?
- What is my prognosis (chances of survival)?
- If I want to consult with another doctor for a second opinion, how do I share information between you?
- What are the lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, stress management) that I should make to improve treatment outcomes and my well being?
Being open and honest with your doctor is vitally important to your treatment and prognosis.