Advanced prostate cancer usually means men with metastatic prostate cancer that has spread far from the prostate or shows signs of growing after using hormone therapy.
Being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer can be both shocking and overwhelming. If you receive this diagnosis, we recommend following these steps.
1. Ask any questions you may have.
If you have any questions about your condition, now is the time to ask them. You may ask the doctor about the exact stage of the cancer, what symptoms you can expect, how long you can live with the condition, or anything else you want to understand.
2. Discuss treatment options.
Next, ask your doctor what treatment options are available for your condition. Depending on your situation, the doctor may offer radiation, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy. Ask the doctor to explain the goals and side effects of each treatment option. It’s also a good idea to ask which treatment options your doctor recommends for your case and why.
3. Talk to close friends and family.
If you aren’t sure what treatment options are best for you, talk about the situation with friends and family members you trust. Take some time to think about your options and make the decision that feels right. Keep in mind that while it is okay to ask for your friends’ and family members’ opinions, this decision is ultimately yours.
4. Make a care plan.
Once you have decided on the best course of action, make a care plan with your doctor. This plan may include your chosen treatments, medications to ease any symptoms, goals of treatment and anything else relevant to your case.
5. Join a support group.
Dealing with advanced prostate cancer is difficult. You may experience a number of physical symptoms, as well as intense emotions. Joining a support group allows you to connect with people who are in the same situation. Depending on your preferences, you may decide to join an online support group or a group that meets in person.
6. Make your wishes clear.
Even though your life may extend for years, it is still a good idea to make your wishes with regard to end-of-life care; resuscitation and other such issues clear to the people around you. Talk to your doctor and/or an attorney to find out what documents you may need to sign, if any.
If you have any questions, contact Scott D. Miller, MD here, or call (404) 705-5201.