Treatment Decision Advice for Prostate Cancer
“Just keep asking questions…” If you’ve recently been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, here we share a video from the Navigate Trial where seven Australian men talk about their personal experiences of considering the treatment options including surgery (prostatectomy), radiotherapy, brachytherapy and active surveillance (close monitoring).
Finding the right support and being informed about your treatment options can help you feel more in control and alleviate feelings of uncertainty. Watch video here to find out more ->
Text version of recorded audio:
Well I guess the main thing is that if you’ve got low-risk prostate cancer is not to panic and don’t feel you’ve been pushed into making the decision there and then, because it’s not going to escape in 24 hours.
Go home, go and have a coffee, go out with your partner and have a talk, talk to your family. If you’ve got some good close friends talk to them about it, or maybe you just need some time out to think about the decision.
If you’re finding it difficult to make a decision, even when you’re looking at the different treatments maybe consider talking to a professional about it just so you can get your head around the pros and cons of all the different treatments, there is no rush.
I just say the blokes get a second opinion if that makes you feel better but if it’s low-risk it’s not going to happen overnight.
I think the most difficult part of the whole process really is the time between diagnosis and the actual decision to make with what treatment to take.
Once you’ve made the decision to go down the treatment path I think things sort of fall into place a little bit. The really difficult period as I say is between diagnosis and between making that decision.
During that time, you have to look at all the options try and find out what’s good and what’s bad.
You get conflicting advice from people so it’s hard to sort out really what the best thing for you is.
You can get a lot off the internet but I think it’s far better to deal with what we do in Australia mainly and just keep asking questions.
In fact, I would encourage any freshly diagnosed men to develop a lot of questions.
Ask questions, it’s better to ask more questions and not enough to fully understand and comprehend what he will be going through.
I think the important thing about prostate cancer from my experience is that you’ve usually got a bit of time to think about what you want to do and what you should do.
I’d recommend to other men talk to your doctor, talk to your family.
Understand what various options are and what the complications and other factors might be and then make a decision that’s right for you.
There is no one right decision and I think it’s about taking time and understanding the pros and cons of everything and then making a decision.
I would recommend to you strongly that you stay away from websites, except this one, because they can be very dangerous.
I mean I’d I looked up websites at the time where there was cures to do with eating kernels from agriculture and it would ‘fix you’.
Have faith in your medico once you’ve made the decision, so it’s this notion of by all means ride the rollercoaster of emotions but once you’ve made the decision put all your energies into it.
We’ve got some great medicos here, you learn we’ve got a great healthcare system.
You know a lot of people complain and all that sort of stuff but having lived through it, we’re very lucky we live here.
Men, most men (I’m one of them) find it a little awkward to talk about certain subjects.
We’re brave, we don’t cry, we don’t need help, you know we’re big tough men. But in hindsight I would have welcomed another set of eyes because my partner really wanted to be part of it but I was in a really dark place you know I shut her out.
I shouldn’t have because I think it would have come through the whole process a lot better and certainly dealt with the effects of treatment better. You need to involve your partner I would recommend strongly.
For people that are considering treatment options, I can only relate my experience really and that is that I found it a very confusing time.
After diagnosis and before making the decision on treatment is I think the worst time in the whole process.
You get different advice from different medical professionals, you get different advice from people you talk to that have been through the process or one of the processes that you’re considering.
To a point, it will come down to where you are on the diagnostic spectrum.
Not everybody is suitable for every type of treatment, possibly some of the treatments may be ruled out for people because of the particular parameters at the time.
But you know really all I can really suggest to guys is that inform yourself as well as you can. Look at the statistics which really are pretty good, you know most of the treatments work pretty well.
I think you then have to look at the process, the side-effects, the recovery times and decide which ones you’re prepared to put up with.
At the end you just have you just have to make a decision, just got to bite the bullet and say “well I’ll go this way”.
All the worry in the world won’t change it, it’s a complete waste of energy.
The worrying isn’t going to change the outcome.
I just say your worrying is a waste of energy it’s not going to matter. You just need to actually work it through and go through the process and actually get it done, get the treatment done and then work through it.
If you are reading this article before October 2020 and have recently been diagnosed with early-stage, low-risk prostate cancer, please consider joining our research trial www.navigateprostate.com.au to help navigate your treatment options.
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