Prostate Cancer Research Institute
A prostate cancer diagnosis unexpectedly presents a unique problem different from other cancers. It typically progresses considerably slower than any other cancer.
So slow, in fact, that research has shown treatment would not improve a man’s expected survival for many types of the cancer. But in rare cases, or if it is diagnosed at its later stages, a prostate cancer diagnosis can be a frantic battle for survival.
There are many effective treatments but, unfortunately, prostate cancer treatments pose a real threat to a man’s sexual and urinary function. In the initial stages of diagnosis, these side effects might not be mentioned upfront and may be considered to be a low priority when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The treatments are highly effective at curing the disease, but men will live with these side effects long after the disease is cured.
It is important to go to a quality medical center if possible. Treatments and imaging are changing rapidly. The use of the latest treatments and technology can significantly improve the outcome of the disease.
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However, patients don’t always have access to the best medical centers due to limited resources, restrictive HMO insurance plans, a lack of insurance, or other limitations, such as geography or inability to travel. It is suspected that for some of these reasons, and others, some demographics, such as Black men, tend to have worse outcomes with prostate cancer when compared to the population at large.
However, even without access to the best medical centers, patients can overcome many of these challenges with education. The more one knows about their disease, the more they can work with their doctors to get the best care with what is available to them.
Many nonprofit organizations provide free educational information, and support groups provide a unique insight for those who are new to the prostate cancer landscape. These organizations can be found on the internet with a little bit of research and are critically important for men with prostate cancer. They can help you understand essential concepts and help you figure out how to maximize your resources.
This knowledge empowers patients to advocate for themselves. The more one can learn about their case, the better their outcome will be.