Questions about prostate cancer
You are most likely interested in prostate cancer and you probably have many questions: Can my prostate cancer be cured? Which prostate cancer treatment options exist and what is the right one for me? What consequences do these methods of treatment hold for me and my family? What are the adverse effects? Could the treatment possibly cause erection disorders or urinary incontinence?
Treatment options for prostate cancer
There are many ways to treat prostate cancer. Firstly, the prostate can be removed by an operation. Secondly, the cancer can be treated by X-rays (radiotherapy), either internally (brachytherapy) or externally. Other options include hormone therapy, and treatments using extreme cold (cryotherapy) or heat (thermal therapy). In some cases, the progress of the tumor is just monitored and no further action is taken ('wait and see', also known as 'watchful waiting'). As you see, there are many different treatment methods when prostate cancer is diagnosed. The effect will be monitored by measuring the PSA-level (Prostate-specific antigen).
In what stage is my disease?
Not every treatment is suited for every patient. The right treatment(s) will be determined by the size of the tumor and if metastasis has happened. The decision aids available on this website, are applicable to patients with an early stage tumor, which did not grow beyond the capsule of the prostate. Our decision aids present an overview of the most used methods to treat such tumors, namely surgical removal, internal radiotherapy and external radiotherapy ('brachytherapy').
Guidelines exist for prostate cancer treatment. But, as just stated, these are guidelines, not rules. There is still a lot to choose. Every treatment has its up- and downsides. The consideration is different for each patient. Not every person will mind the same about an adverse effect. Your choice will depend on your attitude and feelings.
Prostate cancer decision aids
A decision aid supports you in choosing a treatment. In this case, it clarifies the different prostate cancer treatment options. But remember: a decision aid can never replace a conversation with a doctor. You could however consider a treatment based on a decision aid, together with your doctor. You can also use this decision aid to consult with your relatives or friends.