Decision And Choice Of Treatment

My urologist asked me to come in for consultation and to bring my wife with me. I was told that I had 6 months to make a decision and choice of treatment. At this point, I was in a state of shock, not knowing how to tell my wife that I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It took me a month to get enough courage to break the good and bad news to her. When I told her, she became very upset, but I assured her that there was enough time to make a decision.

I made an appointment for my wife and I to see my urologist. During the consultation, he told my wife that this was a time for support and loving care, and that I had a good chance to recover because of my physical condition. He talked to us about several optional treatments and procedures. He recommended that I get a second opinion, if I did not feel comfortable with his diagnosis. I had great confidence in my urologist and the medical laboratories at Temple University Hospital, so I did not seek a second opinion. He gave me all the information about choice of treatments so I could make a decision.

His first choice was surgery, performing a radical prostatectomy to remove the entire prostate gland and adjacent glands. He assured me that he could perform and leave the nerves intact that are responsible for penile erections (nerve-sparing technique). He recommended that I make an appointment to see a radiation oncologist for consultation about their choice of treatments. The radiation oncologist talked to me about several specialized treatments: external beam radiation to destroy the cancer cells in the affected areas; radioactive seed implants, placing little rice-size 'pellets' in the prostrate gland to destroy the cancer cells; and cryosurgery, controlled freezing of the prostate gland to destroy cancer cells.

This was quite a bit of information to receive and make a decision on which method to choose. I started reading up by going to the medical sections of bookstores and public libraries. In addition, I consulted with some of my associates and friends who knew individuals who had been treated for prostate cancer. After much thought and further consultation with my wife and son, I decided to have my urologist perform the radical surgery operation to remove my prostate using the nerve-sparing technique method.

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