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Questions to Ask your Doctor: Early Stage Prostate Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer (cancer is only found in the prostate and has not spread to other organs or lymph nodes), there are a variety of treatment options to consider, and information to take into account before making any decisions. You want to be a partner in your care. When you meet with your doctor or treatment team, come prepared with questions to open the lines of communication. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • What is the clinical stage and Gleason score of my cancer?
  • Is my cancer low risk, medium risk, or high risk for recurrence (coming back later)?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What side effects might I experience with each of these treatments?
  • Are any of these side effects permanent? Can they be treated or lessened and how?
  • Is active surveillance an option for my cancer if I have a low volume, low Gleason Grade, early cancer?
  • What are the chances of my cancer returning after it has been treated?
  • 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 exercise regimen is best for me to increase my longevity?
  • What dietary changes are best for me to increase my longevity?

It may be uncomfortable discussing these questions with your doctor, but it will give you a better understanding of your specific cancer, and how to best handle it.