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No two men with prostate cancer are treated the same. Many factors affect the decision whether or not to treat the disease, including:
- The patient's age
- Whether the cancer has spread
- The presence of other medical conditions
- The patient's overall health.
Choosing a treatment option ideally involves the patient, his family, and one or more doctors. They will need to consider:
- The grade and stage of the cancer
- The man's age and health
- His values and feelings about the potential benefits and risks of each treatment option.
Often, it is useful to seek a second opinion for prostate cancer, and patients may hear different opinions and recommendations. Because there are several reasonable options for most patients, the decision can be difficult. Patients with prostate cancer should try to get as much information as possible and allow themselves enough time to make a decision. There is rarely a need to make a decision without taking time to discuss and understand the pros and cons of the various approaches.
(Click Prostate Cancer Treatment for more information on the different treatments that are available.)
Some prostate cancers become a serious threat to a man's health by growing quickly, spreading beyond the prostate gland to other parts of the body, and causing death. Yet other prostate cancers grow slowly and never become a serious threat to health or affect how long a man lives. Doctors can't always be sure what type of cancer is present in your particular case.
(Click Prostate Cancer Prognosis for more information on this topic.)