Prostate Cancer Overview

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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

What are some questions I can ask my doctor about prostate cancer?

It’s important to have honest, open talks with your doctor. Ask any question, no matter how small it might seem. Here are some questions you might want to ask. Be sure to add your own as you think of them.

  • Would you please write down the exact type of cancer I have?
  • May I have a copy of my pathology report?
  • What is the chance that the cancer has spread beyond my prostate? If so, can it still be cured?
  • What other tests (if any) do you think I need, and why?
  • Are there other types of doctors I should talk to before deciding on treatment?
  • What is the clinical stage and Gleason score of my cancer? What do those mean in my case?
  • Is watchful waiting (active surveillance) an option for me? Why or why not?
  • Do you advise a radical prostatectomy or radiation? Why or why not?
  • If I have a radical prostatectomy, would it be nerve sparing? Would it be laparoscopic?
  • What type of radiation treatment might be best for me?
  • What other treatments might be right for me? Why?
  • Among my treatment options, what risks or side effects should I expect?
  • What are the chances that I will have problems with incontinence or impotence?
  • What are the chances that I will have other urinary or rectal problems?
  • How quickly do I need to decide on treatment?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it be like? Where will it be done?
  • How would treatment affect my daily activities?
  • What are the chances of the cancer coming back with the treatment you suggest? What would be our next step if this happened?
  • What is my expected survival rate based on clinical stage, grade, and various treatment options?
  • What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?
  • Where can I find more information and support?

Be sure to write your questions down so you remember to ask them during visits with your cancer care team. Also keep in mind that other members of your health care team, such as nurses and social workers, may be able to answer to some of your questions. You can find out more about speaking with your health care team in our document Talking With Your Doctor.

Last Medical Review: 01/09/2015
Last Revised: 01/30/2015