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Empowering Patients to Understand All Treatment Options

Today, women diagnosed with breast cancer often know they have many options for treatment: surgery, medication, or radiation therapy can be done all to varying degrees. If a women was told she needed a radical mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast) for a stage 1, low risk breast cancer, she’d likely be shocked, disagree with the recommendation, and get several more opinions. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer, however, are told prostatectomy or removal of the prostate is the gold standard for health…and they believe it.

Many men with small amounts of low risk prostate cancer are told they have to have their prostate completely removed, which may leave them incontinent and impotent for life. Prostate cancer, they are told, must be radically dealt with and the treatment may severely limit their future quality of life. This is false. There are many options for prostate cancer, and the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center believes in discussing them all with our patients so they can make informed, healthy decisions that fit their lifestyles. There is no data to support the bias that younger men should have surgery. Cure rates have been proven equal with other treatment options such as Brachytherapy and External Radiation.

Brachytherapy (known as seed implant) isn’t performed by many hospitals or urologists because of the skill and equipment required. However, cure rates in low risk patients are equal to or better than surgery or external beam radiation, and this minimally invasive, outpatient procedure has many men resuming normal activity 1 day later. Quality of life outcomes including sexual function and urinary function are excellent.

By learning about more of the options, like brachytherapy, men can be empowered to make pro-active health decisions. If you or someone you know has questions about prostate cancer treatments, be sure to ask your doctor about multiple treatment options, get several opinions, and do more research. We’re standing by to talk you through all your options.

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