QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR

Every prostate cancer case is different, as it is specific to the patient and his circumstances. To  ensure that the patient and their family understand the treatment path, it is important to be  involved in the decision making process. Here are some questions that you might want to ask your healthcare team.

About treatment options for localised prostate cancer

 

  • What is my PSA level? If multiple values over time have been collected, how fast has it risen, and what does this mean for me?
  • What do the tests tell us about my cancer?
  • Is my cancer likely to come back based on what you know today?
  • How do you know it hasn’t spread? Can this cancer be cured?
  • What can I expect after I start treatment?
  • How will I know if the treatment has worked?
  • What would happen if I don’t start treatment straight away?
  • Can you refer me to other health professionals to help me deal with my diagnosis and any side effects?
  • What are my options for treatment? And what are the associated side effects?
  • Why are you recommending this specific treatment, over the other treatment options that are available?
  • What are the pros and cons of each option in my case?
  • Are there other factors I need to consider before deciding?
  • What is your own experience with this particular form of treatment?
  • How many of these procedures have you performed before?
  • What are the risks of the treatment?
  • How long will I be in hospital?
  • What will be my out of pocket costs?
  • How can I improve the success of my therapy? Are there dietary changes I need to make? What about exercise?
  • How will this specific type of treatment affect my family and me?
  • What is the effect of the treatments on my fertility? Should I consider sperm-banking or other measures before I undergo any treatments?
  • Should I join a clinical trial?

About treatment options for advanced prostate cancer

 

  • What are all the treatment options available?
  • What is the standard treatment of my stage of prostate cancer?
  • What do the treatments do? (Do they aim to remove or just contain the cancer?
  • What are the treatment goals according to the disease stage (completely eliminate or contain)?
  • What are the treatment procedures?
  • What are the benefits and how likely are they?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • What is your experience as a physician with this type of treatment
  • What do I have to do and how may it affect my day-to-day life? (e.g. travel to a treatment centre, time off work, changes in responsibilities)
  • How will the treatments be monitored?
  • What are the costs involved with the treatments?
  • How may the treatments affect other health conditions I may have?
  • What kind of mental and physical exercise should I do to maintain my current mental and physical status and minimize deterioration?
  • Does my comorbid conditions (other diseases that I have such as liver disease, cardiac problems) affect my treatment options?
  • Does my previous medical history affect my treatment options (history of seizures)?
  • The medications I currently receive, would they interact with the prescribed treatment?