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When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, he is clearly distressed after hearing the “C” word and has also the burden (in most cases of early  and medium stage prostate cancer) of choosing his preferred treatment when totally unprepared to do so. Rash decisions should be avoided at this point and men need to understand why they are faced with having to make this decision. 

This is where the Informed Choice Process comes in. The patient needs to be reminded that generally prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer and that there is time to consider the options carefully. The journey then becomes less bewildering, resulting in a decision made based on being Informed.

The treatments themselves depend on the diagnosois i.e. whether early,  medium or a high risk stage and for each one specialist information should be sought. The treatments adopted will depend upon how advanced the cancer is, your age and general state of health.

ELPCSG have developed a Treatment Options paper clearly laying out  the treatments for the different stages of localised prostate cancer and these options are based upon the current NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) Guidelines. The document is currently in draft form and we would welcome any comments or feedback to info@elpcsg.co.uk.

We recommend that all newly diagnosed review this document to help them with their Informed Choice of treatment..

After reviewing the Treatment Options there is a list below of 8 key questions that can arm each patient for individual interviews with specialists when gathering information to make an Informed Choice. Hopefully, by adopting this process, patients will make a decision they can live with rather than be rushed down one route and not considering potential  side effects. Talking to other men who have been through similar decision making will also help – come to our meetings or talk to our BUDDIES. In addition refer to our page ” Patient Experiences” which is a developing repository of Members personal experiences of treatments, side effects and other experiences.

And if any incontinence issues ..remember to apply for an ELPCSG TOILET CARD!!

DRAFT CHECKLIST OF QUESTIONS TO ASK SPECIALISTS AND NURSES WHEN MAKING AN INFORMED CHOICE OF TREATMENTS FOR PROSTATE CANCER:

For printable document click Check-List

  1. Could you please explain the treatment you offer?
  2. What preparations and actions would you advise to take before and after treatment?
  3. How many procedures did you perform last year and since you became a Specialist?
  4. What have been the actual side effects (incontinence, sexual dysfunctions, others) your patients have reported?
  5. If my cancer is low grade (PSA less than 10, Gleason score 3+3=6 or less, age 60 or older), should I consider Active Surveillance and avoid over treatment and side effects as recommended by N.I.C.E? Other than basic monitoring, how would my surveillance be managed by the NHS?
  6. What prognosis (outcome over next 5 to 10 years) would you make if I chose your treatment?
  7. If the cancer returns, what are the treatment options and likely new prognosis?
  8. Are there any other points or issues I should consider?

Remember to look at our Useful Contacts page and also our Web links for more information.

ELPCSG Publications page , Prostate Information pages, Downloads and News Archive on the site are all usefull sources of information.

We hope all of this helps you with your Informed Choice of treatment.