Questions to ask your surgeon

//Questions to ask your surgeon
Questions to ask your surgeon 2010-10-15T15:21:34+00:00

1 Which surgical technique will be used?

2 Based on your experience, why is this the right approach for me?

3 Do you plan to employ a nerve-sparing technique with the aim of conserving my ability to get an erection following surgery?

4 What about preserving urinary continence (bladder control)?

5 What will you do if you find cancer outside of my prostate during surgery?

6 Will finding cancer outside of my prostate change what you do during surgery?

7 Do I need to be concerned about blood loss during the surgery?  Should I store my blood or get my family and friends to donate blood in case it is needed?

8 What can I expect following the surgery in terms of recovery time?  How long will it be before I can return to my normal activities?

9 What are the likely or possible side effects of the surgery, both short-term and long-term?

10 What will we do to monitor my prostate cancer following the surgery?

11 What are my survival chances?

12 What is my risk of the prostate cancer recurring?

13 Am I a good candidate for a prostate cancer clinical trial?

14 What will we do if prostate cancer does reoccur?

15 What are the T, N, and M stages (descriptions of how far the cancer has spread) of my cancer, and how do they influence my treatment options?

16 How does my Gleason score (based on viewing the cancerous tissue under a microscope) and my blood prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level determine my outlook for survival and effect treatment options?

17 How sure are you that this is the stage of my cancer?

18 Do I need extra tests to see if the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes or other parts of my body?  How reliable are these tests?

19 What about my age and my general health?  Will this affect what will happen to me?

20 How often will I need to have tests and check-ups?

21 What’s the chance that I will survive my prostate cancer? How long will I live?

22 Is there anything I can do to help myself?  DO I need to make any changes to my lifestyle?

23 How can I tell my family I have cancer?

24 What other treatment options are available?

25 What is the likelihood of a cure with each of the treatment options?

26 What are the major side-effects of treatment? How will they affect my quality of life and for how long?

27 What are the risks if my cancer is not treated?

28 If the cancer spreads beyond my prostate, is it still curable?

29 How many radical prostatectomy operations do you perform a year?  Do you believe that experience counts?

30 Do you do surgery in a different way than other surgeons?  How and why?

31 How long do I have to make my decision about surgery?

32 What is your opinion on hormone treatment in association with surgery or radiation therapy?

33 What treatment would you choose if you were in my shoes?

34 What happens if my PSA starts to rise again after treatment?

35 What are the survival rates for this type of prostate cancer in men of my age and in my state of health?

36 Can you recommend a support group in my area for men with prostate cancer?

37 What are the chances of the cancer coming back with the treat you suggest?

38 What is my expected survival rate based on clinical stage, grade, and various treatment options?

39 Would there be any benefit to a free/total prostate specific antigen PSA test, or for the PSA 3 test?

40 Will you be recommending a ProstaScint test? Does a ProstaScint test determine whether the cancer has remained local?

41 Would there be any benefit to using experimental tests such as reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) in order to check for prostate cancer outside the prostate?

42 Do you believe that this cancer is organ-confined, or could it have spread to the lymph nodes?

43 After treatment, what sort of problems should I expect and allow for?

44. Do you believe this cancer will spread if it is not treated — and if so, how fast?

45 What form of treatment would you choose if you were in my shoes?

46 Who will actually operate on me if I elect to have a radical prostatectormy?

47 Will resident physicians take part in the treatment? If so, what will they do, what is their experience, what is their specialty?

48 Should I expect problems related to bladder control, and if so, for how long?

49 Will I still be able to have a normal erection?

50 Will my erection be able to penetrate vaginally?   Anally?

51 If I have problems with incontinence or recovery of a normal erection, how long should I wait before we discuss the available treatment options?

52 If the definitive treatment fails, and my PSA starts to rise again, what would you recommend at that stage?  Who else should I talk to?

53 Do you believe in early or delayed hormone treatment for advanced prostate cancer?

54 Do you believe that combined hormonal therapy offers benefits compared to surgical or medical castration for advanced prostate cancer?

55 For Men who are Partnered with Men:  I want my husband (or partner) to have visitation rights and the right to accompany throughout the pre-op and recovery process…what paperwork do you need to complete so we don’t have any problems at the hospital?