Prostate Cancer

Finding information on prostate cancer treatment

Many of the men we interviewed reported that their doctors had given them plenty of information, and enough time to discuss various treatment options. 

Some men knew very little about prostate cancer before they discovered that they had the disease. They had been happy to be guided by their doctors. For older men, or in cases where the cancer had spread, the options were more limited. A few men felt that they had been well informed but would like to have received more guidance from health care professionals. Some were aware that there is little agreement about what should be done at various stages of the disease.

Some men argued that they had not been given adequate information, and that health care professionals had failed to explain the treatment options. One man, who had had a radical prostatectomy, wished he had considered other possible options and side effects more carefully, and another man wished that his doctor had discussed self-help, alternative medicine and psychological aspects of care as well as physical treatments. Charities, support groups and other men who had experienced various treatments were all useful sources of advice, and some men said that they obtained far more information from these sources than from health care professionals.

Those who had access to the Internet found it extremely helpful, and at the time some American websites were thought to be particularly useful by the men we interviewed. Some men mentioned that websites provide more information than can be easily absorbed, but that information may be out of date. Some also felt that they had become 'expert patients', probably knowing more about prostate cancer than many of their doctors. Other men sought out books, pamphlets or journal articles for additional information.

Mike who was interviewed in 2007 was not impressed with the photocopies and leaflets he was given by the specialist. However, the leaflets provided the terms that he need to make internet searches. He spent two and a half months finding out about treatments (mainly via the internet) before deciding to have a robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.

Helping men decide which is the best treatment for them is one of the research priorities identified by the Prostate Cancer UK
Last reviewed July 2017.
Last updated July 2017.


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