Treatment Decisions

Thomas Stamey, a prostate cancer researcher at Stanford University, wrote that when people are ''faced with a serious illness beyond their comprehension, [each of us] becomes childlike, afraid, and looking for someone to tell us what to do.''1 In the case of prostate cancer, men are frequently advised by different physicians to do entirely different things and then told: ''But in the end, it is up to you to decide.'' There is probably no other major disease in which the burden of treatment decisions is placed so fully on the shoulders of the patients.

In addition to having to make the treatment decisions, men are warned that these decisions must be made in a timely manner. Some studies have shown that delays in initiating treatment, especially for men with advanced stages of cancer, increase the chances of cancer recurrence. Judd Moul, a prostate cancer specialist at Duke University, counsels: ''I have a referral academic practice in which a lot of patients are getting second and third opinions. Some of these patients float from one doctor to another seeking the magic answer. . . . There are a lot of men who become well informed, but this can sometimes lead to paralysis.''2

This chapter will summarize ten factors that should be considered when choosing a treatment for prostate cancer, and will spell out the advantages and disadvantages of the major treatment options. Before we commence this discussion, however, we need to address the question that crosses every man's mind after being diagnosed with prostate cancer: What will happen if I do nothing?

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

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Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.

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