Patients need to be well-informed about their condition and the possible treatments and their side effects, Brooks said. "Patients need to arm themselves with as much information as possible about what their treatment options are, and what some of the contraindications of particular treatments are," he said.
Men also need to know what all the treatment options are, Brooks said. "Men need to be aware that, in some cases, depending on their overall medical condition and the stage of their cancer, that it is, at times, appropriate not to have any active treatment," he said. "Watchful waiting is a legitimate option in a significant proportion of men."
"In addition, doctors need to work with their patient to choose the best treatment option, Brooks said.
"If one takes the time to have a discussion, educate the patient and not rush them into a decision, then you may be able to allow them to get past their emotional response and make a more educated, logic-based response," Brooks said.
Brooks noted that because there are so many treatment options in prostate cancer, patients may insist on a particular treatment even though it's not the best choice for them.
"Where treatments are contraindicated in other places in medicine, doctors don't provide a treatment for a patient just because that's what they say they want," Brooks said. "You explain that that treatment is simply the wrong treatment for you, and therefore, we are not going to take that approach."
For more on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: James Talcott, M.D., Cen
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