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PCRI is dedicated to educating patients to allow them to communicate better with their physicians. We do this via this website, our PCRI Insights newsletter, our conferences and the PCRI Helpline. Selecting the best treatment requires an educated patient. It is essential to take whatever time is necessary to understand all aspects of your prostate cancer situation before an irreversible treatment decision is made.

Key Concepts:

Most medical treatment protocols are based on information published in peer-reviewed journals. If you are not familiar with PubMed, it is a great source to search for medical abstracts. Sometimes the full text is available free online or you can purchase access to the article.  It is often possible to obtain the full text version from your local library (via inter-library loan), by emailing the author, from your physician or from the library at a local hospital. You can access PubMed at:

A few resources to help you get started:

  • Start with a good reference book on prostate cancer. See our list of books by Strum, Bostwick and others under “Learning About Prostate Cancer” at: Books on prostate cancer
  • You will encounter many terms that are unfamiliar to you. Most of the articles on the PCRI website have terms hyperlinked to: The PCRI Glossary: A Tool for Learning About PC
  • The Internet allows interested patients and their families as well as medical professionals to have up-to-date scientific information at their fingertips. Patients can learn about the latest scientific information regarding PC and various treatment options through Internet sites that cater to the lay public. See our article: E-Empowerment
  • Not all published studies carry equal weight. The clinical trials that have the greatest validity are prospective, randomized and multi-center with sufficient size and duration to eliminate the element of chance. What might surprise many prostate cancer patients is the fact that little, if any, of the evidence used to recommend treatment for localized prostate cancer achieves the status of Level I “proof”. To learn more, see: Levels of Evidence – August 2009 Insights

Page updated 8/1/11