Prostate Cancer: Men have more control over treatment options then they might think
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, and arguably the most intimate too, which can cause some patients to feel embarrassed when it comes to discussing their symptoms or treatment options with a specialist. This Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, with diagnoses on the rise, it’s more important than ever that men feel confident in discussing their condition and empowered to seek all the possible treatment options – some of which offer far better long term outcomes in both sexual function and continence.
Too many patients currently are being offered radical prostatectomy, a serious operation to completely remove the prostate gland and surrounding tissue, without also being advised on less intrusive alternatives with equally high success rates, such as LDR Brachytherapy.
The first person men speak to in their counselling process – whether that is an oncologist, urologist or specialist nurse – will of course have a very strong influence on the eventual decision regarding chosen treatment. Even patients opting for a second opinion will, more often than not, still follow the advice of the first clinician. It is therefore essential that the first discussion openly and honestly discusses all the potential options -not just radical prostatectomy. Today, while the NICE guidelines include low dose rate Brachytherapy (LDR-B), radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy or surveillance, the treatments being offered to patients can be highly postcode dependent.