Prostate cancer is one of the leading cancer diagnoses in men with one in six men diagnosed every year in the United States. When a man receives a prostate cancer diagnosis, they may understandably feel a variety of emotions and fear is certainly one of them. It can be enormously overwhelming to receive a diagnosis of cancer and all the information that comes with it. Already feeling terrified, it can be more than challenging to sort through all of the terminology, the information you need to understand what’s next, and the decisions that need to be made regarding treatment.
So what happens when you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer? What happens next and what can you expect? Where do you turn for the answers?
First and foremost, it is critical to align yourself with a cancer team that is experienced with prostate cancer. Look for a doctor and medical team that is committed to state-of-the-art technology, staying on the cutting-edge of research, and has extensive experience treating prostate cancer using a variety of techniques. Cancer is a very personal diagnosis and treatment should be aligned with the personal needs of the patient; so look for a doctor that believes strongly in creating customized treatment plans. Most importantly, you need to look for a team that is committed to answering any and all questions you may have and will walk with you through the treatment process.
Once you’ve decided on a doctor, you’ll work through the potential treatment plans depending on the stage and grade of the disease. Some of the treatment options include high dose radiation therapy, external beam radiation, prostate seed implantation (brachytherapy), hormonal therapy, and a combination of several types of treatment.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about any potential side effects associated with each treatment and the recovery for each so that you know what to expect during and after your course of treatment.
Ultimately, it’s important to have all your questions answered prior to embarking on any treatment for prostate cancer. A good doctor will lead you through the process and help you make the best decisions for your current and future health.