When it is caught early, prostate cancer is usually curable. However, some men may see a return of their cancer, which can occur many years later. Generally, this will be noticed because of a rising PSA, and your doctor may recommend more treatment. Here are a few questions to ask your doctor before you decide on your next course.
- What does it mean that my PSA level is rising?
- What is my PSA level now, and how will we monitor changes over time?
- Should I get an imaging scan to see if the cancer has spread to my bones or other organs?
- Are there any tests of my blood or tumor tissue I could have that might make me eligible for clinical trials or new, targeted drugs?
- Should we add a medical oncologist or radiation oncologist to my treatment team to gain an additional perspective on treating my disease?
- Am I a candidate for local “salvage” prostatectomy or radiation therapy? Why or why not?
- If you recommend that I initiate hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapy), how will this benefit me and slow down the growth of cancer cells? What is the optimal time to initiate this treatment?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of hormone therapy? Are there things I can do to minimize the side effects?
- Should my treatment plan also include a newer androgen directed therapy or docetaxel?
- What is the likelihood that these treatments could send my cancer into remission again?
- What are the potential side effects, both severe and minor types?
- Are there dietary changes that I could make to optimize treatment? What should my ideal exercise program be?
- What is my prognosis with further treatment? Without?
- Should I consider joining a clinical trial?
Discussing these questions with your doctor will help you make informed decisions regarding future treatment.
For more information, download the Prostate Cancer Patient Guide here.