If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, there are a lot of things to think about before you and your doctor choose a treatment plan. First, know that if it’s detected early, prostate cancer is highly treatable, and most men with prostate cancer survive the disease.
Don’t rush into a decision about treatment. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you can most likely take three to four months to do research, get a second opinion, and carefully consider your options. All prostate cancers are not the same. Prostate cancer can be a complex disease to treat, and there are many opinions about how best to treat it. The treatment a friend or relative received might not be the best treatment for you.
Your Choice Matters
One of your most important decisions is selecting where to get treatment. Studies have shown that the first treatment you receive for cancer is by far the most important. That’s why your first choice in a treatment center needs to be the right one.
- Patients who begin their treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) often have better outcomes than those who started treatment elsewhere.
- Everything you need is right here: a world-class team of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and pathologists who specialize in prostate cancer.
- SCCA offers the most advanced diagnostic, treatment, and recovery programs—as well as extensive support to help you cope with your cancer.
- Not only can you expect the best standard of care available, SCCA patients have access to advanced therapies and treatments being explored in over a dozen ongoing clinical trials for prostate cancer conducted at SCCA and its founding organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine.
At SCCA, you may choose to visit a specialist for one specific type of treatment, or you may choose a team approach, where SCCA specialists collaborate, discuss all of your options, and recommend a treatment plan based on your type of cancer and how it has progressed.
Ask someone you trust to go with you to doctors’ appointments and tests. This person can provide emotional support and also help by taking notes, keeping track of questions you want to ask, and helping you do research on your disease and your treatment options.
Spouses, partners, and significant others may be actively involved in the care and treatment decisions of men with prostate cancer. They need to take care of themselves too and may need support facing this challenge. SCCA’s prostate cancer team offers advice to help them cope.
Your First Visit
Before your first visit, your SCCA doctor will have reviewed your pathology slides (tissue samples from any biopsies) and any scans or tests you have already had.
During your first visit you will answer questions about your medical history and your current problem. This may be followed by a complete physical exam by your doctor, including a digital rectal exam. Most importantly, you and your doctor will thoroughly discuss treatment options for your cancer and any further tests you may need.