Not all forms of prostate cancer are life-threatening. As a result, not all prostate cancer requires treatment. The need for treatment is determined by a man’s “Risk Level.”
Another important consideration is your overall health. You should evaluate your other health risks in making your decisions for treating your prostate cancer. See our paper Who’s At Risk for What?
The transformation of prostate cancer into a treatable disease creates a whole new arena of challenges. Side effects of treatment take on added importance, and the quality of life becomes a priority in cases where survival is not the central issue.
How to evaluate your options?
We suggest you start to understand your risk and options by viewing the content of our pamphlet:
To obtain a more thorough understanding of the issues in staging prostate cancer, read Part 1 of an article by Dr. Mark Scholz “Newly Diagnosed Prostate Cancer: Evaluating the Options”.
You will find more detail on staging, in an article titled “A Strategy of Success in the Treatment of Prostate Cancer”.
Algorithms/nomograms may be valuable tools for evaluating the potential extent of your disease and your risk of recurrence. They are covered under Risk Assessment.
Accurate staging is critically important – If there is significant risk of cancer outside the prostate, advanced imaging with color Doppler ultrasound or Endo-Rectal MRI, may provide important information to help guide your treatment. See Diagnostic Imaging.
Dr. Mark Scholz discussed factors to properly stage prostate cancer and treatment options at the 2007 PCRI Conference. Watch video.
NCCN Clinical Guidelines – requires (free) subscription
Page updated 8/1/11