Prostate cancer treatment options: Find info about new prostate treatments

BOSTON — For many men with early-stage prostate cancer, sorting out the treatment options can be overwhelming. Yet they feel pressured to choose a course of therapy quickly. The first issue of a new quarterly bulletin about prostate disease published by Harvard Medical School says that the most important thing to do is to take your time and make sure you explore all treatment choices thoroughly.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

The inaugural issue of Perspectives on Prostate Disease explains that treatment decisions can be complicated for a number of reasons. First, there's no one-size-fits-all treatment for early-stage prostate cancer. Even the experts do not agree about which men with such cancers should be treated, which therapy is best — or whether, for some tumors, treatment is even necessary. Indeed, doctors are now advising many patients to undertake a program of "active surveillance" rather than pursue aggressive treatment. The choice can become even more difficult when a man takes into account the side effects of treatment, which can be devastating to his quality of life.

Marc B. Garnick, M.D., Harvard oncologist and editor-in-chief of Perspectives,says, "For all these reasons, I encourage patients to ask detailed questions and perform due diligence to ensure that they are making the right decisions about their medical care. Due diligence begins with having the confidence to question your physician about treatment recommendations — after all, you are the person who has to live with the results."

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