Prostate cancer is common. In 2012, there were an estimated 2,795, 592 (over 2.5 million) men living with prostate cancer in the United States. It is estimated that there will be 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer in 2015, accounting for 13.3% of all new cancer cases. Approximately 27,540 men will die from prostate cancer in 2015. (SEER Stat fact sheets: prostate cancer) It is likely that you know someone, a spouse, significant other, family member or friend with prostate cancer.
The diagnosis is alarming – the choices can be daunting – and feeling overwhelmed is not uncommon.
Trying to navigate one’s way through the evaluation and management of prostate cancer can be akin to walking through a maze and the ongoing advances can add to further confusion.
The evaluation and management of prostate cancer continues to evolve, with a greater understanding of the natural history of prostate cancer, the biology of the cancer cells, refinements in surgical and radiation therapy techniques as well as therapeutic options for recurrent and metastatic prostate cancer.
The adoption of “active surveillance” in select individuals, refinements in surgical procedures, such as robotic assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, and the development of multiple therapies for the management of castrate resistant prostate cancer, prostate cancer cells that continue to grow despite hormone therapy have developed more recently.
Prostate cancer patients, their families, and significant others are faced with difficult treatment choices, often at a time when emotionally they are most impacted. How do these individuals gather the information they need to make an educated decision or feel “empowered to ask questions”? The internet, although a resource for information, may be difficult to navigate and unfortunately may provide single experiences that don’t reflect the “typical”. Updating the 100 Questions and Answers: Prostate Cancer attempts to provide current information regarding the diagnosis, evaluation and management of prostate cancer to help prostate cancer patients and their families and significant others feel empowered to ask questions and make treatment decisions. Knowledge is power – feel empowered to take a more active role in your care or the care of a loved one, spouse or friend.
Post written by Pamela Ellsworth, MD. Pamela Ellsworth is the author of 100 Questions & Answers About Prostate Cancer, 20 Questions & Answers About Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer, 100 Questions & Answers About Men’s Health, among others.