Knowing Your Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

Prostate cancer decision aid provides information and guidance

(RxWiki News) The diagnosis of prostate cancer doesn't necessarily mean that a man needs to launch into treatment. He has a number of options. A new online tool will help him make decisions about what's best for him.

Empowered patients need to do their homework. A new tool makes that easier for men newly diagnosed with localized (hasn't spread) prostate cancer (PC).

Educate yourself once you've been diagnosed with a serious illness.

Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson Cancer Center have collaborated to developed an online "decision aid" to help men understand the nature of prostate cancer, how it's diagnosed, graded, staged and treated.

The multimedia, interactive tool - "Knowing Your Options" deciphers and translates the jargon to explain the benefits and possible risks and harms of each treatment alternative.

Free and open to the public, the up-to-date and easy-to-use program provides comprehensive information, separated into five different modules. Some modules have narrated animation that illustrate important biological information. The topics covered include:

  • Introduction defines what a diagnosis of localized PC means.
  • Prostate Cancer has an animates video that illustrates where the prostate is located and how it functions.
  • Treatment Options discusses choices including choosing to not begin treatment right away.
  • What is Important is an interactive module that helps you consider your priorities and quality of life issues.
  • Talk with Your Doctor provides interactive questions to make the best decision for you.

After finishing the program, you can print out a summary of information that's important to you, which you can share with your doctor, partner and anyone else you want to be involved in your decision.

The lead developer of this tool was Robert Volk, Ph.D., professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine at MD Anderson. He worked with colleagues, Curtis Pettaway, M.D., professor in the Department of Urology, and Deborah Kuban, M.D., professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, who served as medical experts.

Volk say the program is designed to provide accurate information and offer decision making guidance. "In the case of clinically localized prostate cancer, where men face a treatment decision with several reasonable options, informed decision-making is paramount," Volk said.

You can access the tool by clicking the first link below.

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Review Date: 
December 21, 2011