Is Prostate Cancer Survivable?

If your doctor tells you that you have prostate cancer, it is extremely devastating. It used to be that when someone was diagnosed with any type of cancer it seemed to be a death sentence, and many times that was indeed the case.

In 1994 the Food and Drug Administration approved the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, since that time it has been used along with the rectal examination to diagnose prostate cancer, this is not a perfect method but it is the best we have at this time

There is no doubt that this test has led to finding more prostate cancer in earlier stages of development, and if discovered early there is an almost 100% chance of recovery. The survival rate is so high because 91% of

prostate cancers are found before it can spread to the surrounding organs.

If surgery is used to remove the tumor, patients can have some uncomfortable side effects. One of them is impotence, if the nerves that control erection are damaged during the surgery; and they may suffer temporary incontinence while they recover from the surgery.

There are alternatives to surgery that the patient may opt for. There are doctors that believe chemoprevention, can be used to stop further development and progression of the disease.

Prostate cancer grows very slowly, and can grow for years before being detected; these doctors believe that the fact that it grows so slowly makes it a good candidate for chemoprevention.

There are other doctors that believe chemoprevention should be used only for patients that are at high risk for cancer; but have not developed it yet. They believe this because it is such a new treatment that there are no statistics to prove that it works as cure.

Some doctors will tell the patient to just wait and watch, to see how fast the tumor is growing. Other doctors disagree with that, saying that if those patients entered into a program of chemoprevention rather than waiting, it could slow or stop the progression of the disease.

They believe that with changes in the diet, nutritional supplements, and herbs, to stop the inflammation and oxidation that can be caused by the chemoprevention therapy, the patient would see an overall improvement in his health.

There are several options available for the treatment of prostate cancer; something that works for one person may not work for another, because of the patient's history.

Your doctor can explain in detail which treatment he believes is best for you; if after talking to your doctor you are not sure what you should do tell your doctor that you would like to get a second opinion.

If your doctor is not a cancer specialist then you should talk to one; your doctor can send your medical information to the doctor that you wish to see.

If you are having trouble sleeping and have a lot of anxiety and depression, talk to your doctor right away. This is not uncommon under the circumstances and your doctor can help. After talking with you your doctor may recommend several options for you.

One of the things that your doctor might suggest to you is joining a support group, some people have a difficult time expressing themselves in a group of people, but a support group can be very helpful because many of them have been through what you are going through, and they can share with you things that they have found that helped them.

Another thing that will help is talking to a social worker; they can help with any uncertainties and concerns that you have about your illness and your personal feelings.

They can also give you information about resources in your community that you can use, and help you with any traveling and accommodations you might need if have to travel outside your community for treatment.

One on one therapy with is a good idea, because it may be much easier for you to express yourself in that setting than in other options, and you will be talking with a healthcare professional that can help you feel like you have more control over your situation.

It would be an excellent idea to use a combination of these options; and you should also talk with family and friends about your illness, it can help them as well as yourself. It is not good to keep your feelings bottled up and talking with friends can help them understand your situation better.

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=94746

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/jan2008_report_prostateCancer.htm

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/apr2007_report_prostate_01.htm

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