Men with Prostate Cancer May Not Know All Of Their Treatment Options and Risks

by Brian Miles, MD 


Houston Methodist Urology Associates

Professor of Urology, Institute for Academic Medicine
Houston Methodist – Weill Cornell Medical College

According to a September 2017 study by BJU International, men who have been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and have consulted with a urologist often have a poor understanding of their treatment options and the consequences of each one. As a result, they tend to make decisions based on instinct – which does not necessarily result in getting the best treatment.

Typically, men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer — defined as cancer that is not beyond the capsule of the prostate gland and has not reached other parts of the body — are given three options: active surveillance, which can be stressful, radical (whole removal) prostatectomy or radiation therapy which all typically come with the side effects of incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Often, patients on active surveillance believe they will need radiations in the future, however, only half of the patients watching and waiting require that. While men who are diagnosed don’t need to become experts in prostate cancer to be their own best advocates t