You have been diagnosed with advanced or metastatic prostate cancer. It is a shock, you have cancer and your cancer has already spread outside of the prostate gland.
Your doctor might have already told you that at this stage it is no longer curable, and technically it can be called terminal! That is a lot of stuff that has been just pushed on to your plate.
Theoretically, this is correct, but for many of us, despite having this diagnosis, we will not die from the prostate cancer! Treatment today allows us to delay the cancer long enough that we will live our life fully to die from some other, unrelated cause.
The treatment goal for men with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer is not to cure the disease, but to make it into a chronic illness so that we can deal with it as needed, but live our life in a full and happy manner. In order to do this, we need to educate ourselves about our treatment options so that we can work hand-in-hand with our doctors in making the best possible treatment choices.
Often, this means questioning our doctors about their recommendations, introducing additional treatment possibilities that they have not thought about and offering research findings to them that could change their thinking and the course of your treatments.
One very common area of conversation for a man who has been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer is the possibility of debulking the cancer. Traditionally, a newly diagnosed man with distant metastasis is not offered the opportunity to have the prostate gland removed since the cancer is ultimately terminal and the treatment itself will cause significant side effects.
However, there has been an accumulation of data that shows that the removing the gland and the primary tumor(s) does slow down cancer progression a