March 28, 2011
Winning The Battle Against Prostate Cancer: Get the Treatment That is Right for You
Gerald Chodak, MD
- Introduction: Why This Book will Help You Win the Battle
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, many emotions and questions probably are going through your head.
- - Can the cancer be treated?
- Which is the best treatment?
- How much will the treatment affect your quality of life?
- Will the treatment make it possible to watch your children and grandchildren grow up?
- Winning The Battle Against Prostate Cancer will provide easy to understand answers to these and many other key questions. When you and your family members begin to research this topic, confusion often occurs. There are so many opinions on what to do and too much information to read. Surfing the Internet with the words prostate cancer treatments has over 25 million hits. Advertisements for many treatments are common. This raises even more questions.
- - Which of these sites are useful?
- Is the information accurate and up to date?
- How can anyone tell which ones are biased?
- Which Internet sites can you trust?
- Winning The Battle Against Prostate Cancer is a one-stop source that provides up to date, accurate, balanced information about every stage of this disease. It will do away with the confusion caused by reading many of those Internet sites. You are probably not aware that prostate cancer is a very different cancer than others such as colon or lung cancer.
- - Those cancers are always life threatening while prostate cancer often is not.
- Those cancers must be treated aggressively while many prostate cancers never need to be treated.
- Those cancers have a limited number of treatments while prostate cancer has many options.
- Most doctors agree on how to manage those cancers but they do not agree on how to manage prostate cancer.
- Too often, doctors recommend a treatment based on their personal choice rather than because of good medical studies. Also, many doctors fail to explain the pros and cons of every option available. The list of biases about this disease is quite long and it includes:
- - Surgeons are more likely to recommend surgery while Radiation therapists will more likely recommend radiation.
- Surgeons disagree about which method for removing the prostate is best.
- Radiation therapists disagree on which of the seven types of radiation is best.
- Some of the treatments promoted are so new that long-term results are not available but this limitation is rarely explained.
- Every treatment can cause complications. How often they occur depends in part on the doctor doing the treatment. Unfortunately, most doctors do not know their results so they quote those reported by the experts, which can mislead you.
- Doctors often use poorly done medical studies to support their recommendation without explaining their weaknesses.
- Winning The Battle Against Prostate Cancer will clear up the confusion by explaining what is known and what is missing for every treatment. It will help you understand the pros and cons and risks and benefits of each treatment without any bias. If medical studies are available they will be explained so you understand what is good and bad about them. Just because a study is published in a medical journal does not mean the information is always good or correct. Some studies are much more reliable than others. A strength of this book is its firm adherence to the principles of evidence based medicine or EBM. It means that a therapy will be recommended only when high quality scientific studies have demonstrated it is the best option. This book tells you which treatments have been studied in this manner. When those studies do not exist, this book will help you understand the pros and cons of all the treatments available.
- Winning The Battle Against Prostate Cancer also includes the results of many important studies published in the past three to four years. These either weren't available or were overlooked when other prostate cancer books were published. These newer studies have led to many changes in how men should be treated. Although you might expect your physician to provide the latest information, few of them keep completely up to date. Hence, without this book you may receive incorrect care and advice. Another important feature is its ability to help you play a role in deciding what is done. You may be one of the many men who are no longer content to let the doctor decide. The challenge with prostate cancer is that the treatments can sometimes be worse than the disease. The key is to find the treatment that is right for you. Some men would prefer to preserve their quality of life rather than live as long as possible and others want the opposite. This is a very personal decision. How can the doctor know what matters most to you? The treatment must be tailored to meet your needs and your goals. To play an active role, you need to know what you need to know, which means asking the right questions. Winning The Battle Against Prostate Cancer will provide the questions to ask in a way that should be acceptable to most doctors. Once you get those questions answered you will be able to help select the treatment that is right for you.
Lastly, you may want to know what you can do on your own to improve the outcome. That may include things like changing your diet or taking herbs, vitamins and supplements. This can be a very confusing area with many items being advised either by other patients or by promotional websites. Before doing anything, you should know the answers to the following questions.
- - Are they helpful?
- Is there any potential harm?
- Are there good studies supporting their use or only personal stories and testimonials?
- Will they interfere with other treatments for your cancer?
- Winning The Battle Against Prostate Cancer will explain what is known and not known about all the alternative therapies being promoted so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. As you begin to read and learn about this disease, take your time and don't panic. There is no need to rush into a treatment. Your prostate cancer did not develop yesterday or last month and it does not need to be treated within the next month. Learn about all the options available and don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions. Combining that with Winning The Battle Against Prostate Cancer will be the best combination to achieve your goals.
Reprinted by permission
Better Prostate Health and Prostate Cancer Prevention by Dr. Gerald Chodak