If you have prostate cancer, you know you have to wait … a lot. Anything in the medical world comes with a wait; in fact, waiting is so prevalent that doctor’s offices have whole rooms named for that exact purpose! For men with prostate cancer, knowing what you’re waiting for, how to wait, and when to wait can take away a lot of anxiety. Check out our guide for waiting for men with prostate cancer.
Things men with Prostate Cancer have to wait for:
|Gleason Scores||Medical offices to share results|
|Prescriptions at the pharmacy||Scan results|
Things men with prostate cancer should wait for:
- Wait to make a treatment decision until you have all the information
- Many men rush into treatment upon hearing they have prostate cancer. Unfortunately, opting for a treatment decision without all of the information can leave men with life-long, irreversible side effects. Prostate cancer acts very differently from other cancers, and is very slow growing. Men with prostate cancer have time to research and make treatment decisions based on fact, not fear.
- Wait for a second (or third) opinion
- Getting multiple opinions is crucial to ensure you are getting the full, accurate story of your prostate cancer. Not all doctors have the same experience treating, diagnosing, or managing prostate cancer. Finding a doctor with plenty of experience in prostate cancer will give you your best shot at treatment success. Keep in mind that while it can take weeks to get a second opinion, prostate cancer is so slow growing that that passage of time between appointments will generally not affect cure rates.
- Wait to choose the more radical treatment until it is absolutely necessary
- Choosing the most radical treatment can actually do more harm than good! Because prostate cancer is so slow growing, side effects and quality of life should be a large consideration in treatment choice. Generally the more intense the treatment, the worse the side effects. Starting treatment with the least toxic, most effective treatment option for your stage of prostate cancer can help to limit the amount of treatment side effects while still eradicating the cancer.
Things all men (and those with prostate cancer) should NOT wait for:
- Don’t wait to get your PSA tested!
- Start PSA testing at age 45, 40 if you are African American or have a family history. As with most medical issues, it is better to catch prostate cancer early. Remember, having an elevated PSA doesn’t necessarily mean prostate cancer, but it is a sign something may be wrong and further evaluation is necessary. PSA testing is essential to catching prostate cancer at its earliest most curable stage. But remember, an elevated PSA can mean a lot of different things including BPH or infection; it does not always indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
- Don’t wait to tell your doctor about pain or changes in body function
- Talking to your doctor about pain or discomfort at its onset is crucial. Men with advanced prostate cancer may experience bone pain. This is a sign that prostate cancer is progressing and a change in treatment is necessary. Prostate cancer treatment comes with a lot of side effects, while some may be irreversible, many can be treated or managed. Your doctor can help generate a plan for managing and improving symptoms.
- Don’t wait to get tested for other health issues
- Just because you have prostate cancer, does not mean you can neglect your general health! Prostate cancer is so slow growing that many men will succumb to a health issue other than prostate cancer. Continuing with annual physicals during prostate cancer treatment and management is important. Men with prostate cancer make frequent visits to their doctors which are great opportunities to get checked for other common age-related issues such as heart disease, osteoporosis, colon cancer, etc.
What to do while waiting:
- Exercising can help minimize stress, combat fatigue (a common side effect of prostate cancer treatment), prevent osteoporosis, and more. Working out is one of the best things you can do for your health and longevity. Not motivated? A trainer can be a great investment to hold you accountable and ensure you are exercising safely and to the best of your ability.
- Take the Staging Quiz:
- Take the self-administered prostate cancer staging quiz on keytopc.com and learn your stage. Through a few simple questions, the quiz guides you to your specific stage and tells you the recommended treatment options for your specific stage of prostate cancer. When you can focus on stage specific information, prostate cancer is much easier to understand.
- Read the Book:
- Prostate cancer is a very complex industry and the information and technology surrounding prostate cancer is rapidly increasing. To receive the most up to date, personalized care, patients must empower themselves. The Key to Prostate Cancer: 30 Experts Explain 15 Stages of Prostate Cancer is a great place to start your research. The bookguides readers to targeted information based on their stage of prostate cancer. Visit Keytopc.com for where to purchase and more!
- Listen to the PROSTATE PROS Podcast:
- Listen to the PROSTATE PROS podcast while working out, driving to appointments, sitting in a waiting room, or whenever you need something to do. Through 20 minute episodes, the PROSTATE PROS podcast guides listeners through the 15 stages of prostate cancer, recent updates, and all possible treatment options. Listen on podcast.prostateoncology.com, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or SoundCloud.
- Join a support group:
- Support groups are great places to learn the latest in prostate cancer, get the scoop about the best doctors, and connect with men and loved ones going through similar experiences. Visit pcri.org and find a support group near you.
- Attend the Prostate Cancer Research Institute’s Mid-Year and Yearly Patient Conferences:
- Each year the Prostate Cancer Research Institute hosts two-conferences, a mid-year (March) and a yearly (September). The PCRI conferences are designed for men and loved ones with prostate cancer. Get your questions answered and hear from world-class prostate cancer experts about the newest treatment, diagnosis, and monitoring options.