Prostate Cancer Treatment
In most cases, treatment for prostate cancer involves either local or systemic therapy. Examples of local therapy include surgery or radiation therapy. Hormone therapy is an example of systemic therapy. Because there are serious risks, as well as benefits, involved with these different treatment options, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan.
Many men with prostate cancer want to take an active part in making decisions about their care. It is natural to want to learn all you can about this disease and your choices in treating prostate cancer. However, shock and stress after the diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything you want to ask your doctor. It often helps to make a list of questions before an appointment.
To help remember what the doctor says about your treatment options for prostate cancer, you may take notes or ask whether you may use a tape recorder. You may also want to have a family member or friend with you when you talk to the doctor -- to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen. You do not need to ask all your questions at once. You will have other opportunities to ask your healthcare provider to explain things that are not clear and to ask for more details.
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you may ask for a referral. Specialists involved with treating prostate cancer include:
- Urologic oncologists
- Radiation oncologists
- Medical oncologists.
Before starting prostate cancer treatment, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Many insurance companies cover a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it. It may take some time and effort to gather medical records and arrange to see another doctor. Usually, it is not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. In most cases, the delay in starting treatment will not make it less effective. To make sure, however, you should discuss this delay with your doctor. Some men with prostate cancer need treatment right away.