March 26, 2015

What happens after my diagnosis of prostate cancer ?

The diagnosis of prostate cancer greatly influences the choice of treatment. Indeed, the results of the biopsy and the different tests and scans measure two key indicators: the grade and stage of prostate cancer. The grade determines the degree of aggressiveness of the cancer while the stage indicates the degree of spread. Both indicators are used to determine the level of progression of the prostate cancer: localized, locally advanced or advanced.

Prostate cancer may behave in different ways. Sometimes a local cancer progresses slowly or not at all with a very low risk of spread beyond the prostate. On the other hand, prostate cancer can grow faster and extend to the rest of the body.

Therefore, the grade and stage helps the doctor determine how the prostate cancer is likely to behave and what treatments would be most suitable.

Learn about the results of your diagnosis and treatment options

Do not hesitate to consult your doctor or medical team for more information on the progression (degree of aggressiveness and spread) of your prostate cancer, the results of your tests and the treatment options available. Make sure to take the time to reflect on what is good for you and gather all the information you need.

After your diagnosis, appointments with your doctor may seem overwhelming. There are many solutions to help you reduce your anxiety and make sure to gather all the information you need. It could be a good idea to write down your questions in advance so you can refer to them during your appointments. You can also record an appointment to remember what was said. Another option would be to bring a friend or a relative to your appointments.

Prostate cancer diagnosis can be a difficult and challenging process. Sometimes you will need to share your feelings and concerns with someone you trust. Don’t be afraid to ask your relatives or medical team for support and any kind of help.

Questions to ask your medical team

Your doctor and medical professionals team are there to help you. Make sure to keep an open and honest communication about your concerns regarding your diagnosis and treatment options.

Here is a list of questions to ask following your diagnosis of prostate cancer.

  1. What are the risks if my cancer is not treated quickly? Do I need additional testing?
  2. What are my treatment options? Which do you recommend?
  3. What is your experience with this treatment?
  4. Do the treatments have side effects, if so, what are they? Are they short or long term? What is the probability of post-treatment side effects? Can they be prevented or treated?
  5. What are the chances of curing prostate cancer? What happens if it reappears?
  6. When and where will my treatment take place and how long will it last?
  7. Is my lifestyle going to change during treatment? What elements will change and why? Should I stop working during the treatment? Can I still have sex during and after treatment?
  8. What will the recovery be like?

You have questions? Speak to one of our health professionals.

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