Reblogged from Axman and Prostate CancerIf you have had prostate cancer for a while you may have noticed that there has been a lot of published research in the past several years designed to clarify the diagnosis and treatment process of the disease. Had you been paying attention you would have learned (from respected researchers) that:
- Guys who are healthy and have never had a PSA test should generally not be tested. There is no survival advantage and there is the possibility of over treatment.
- Some guys should be tested with the PSA if they and their doctor think it’s a good idea (for example if it runs in the family). And similar research in Europe has shown there does seem to be
about a 20% survival advantage to having regular PSA tests.
- Younger men, newly diagnosed with slow growing prostate cancer, show no survival benefit from surgery. What about those with faster growing tumors or a high PSA?
- Older men, newly diagnosed, show no survival benefit from surgery. Too bad.
- Treatment of any kind may not show a significant survival benefit.
- Treatment saves lives or extends lives for some (different researchers).
So, armed with this definitive scientific information, you and your medical team can confidently plan a treatment (or non-treatment) regimen to keep you as healthy as possible for as long as possible (don’t you feel more positive already?). I would certainly like to show a survival benefit. So far I’m surviving and that is definitely a survival benefit to me.
Every man’s experience with prostate cancer is different, every man’s choices are a little different, every man’s attitude is a little different, every man’s response to treatment is a little different, every man’s tolerance of medical side effects is different, but we all hope it works for us.
The research and trials are confusing and sometimes contradictory leaving us in a quandary if not a vacuum. It seems the more we research our situation the more confused we can become. Particularly when we are feeling unwell due to the disease and its treatment we are not in a position to make informed choices.