There are many opinions swirling around on the topic of prostate cancer, making a patient’s research confusing and disjointed. With all the varying information out there, talking through it can be the best way to fully understand every aspect—especially when talking to someone who has gone through it before.
We spoke with our very own team member Joe Hall about prostate cancer, treatment options and the way he approaches talking to men with a recent diagnosis. Joe is a prostate cancer survivor, and a ProstRcision alumnus, who has talked to thousands of men navigating prostate cancer.
A: “What I like to say to him first is slow down. If a man has just received a call, my counsel would be to stay calm and get informed. I give him some insights and information to arm him for the process. The first step of that is talking through what he can do before he meets with his urologist. I advise him to be sure his urologist fully explains his Gleason score on the pathology report. I also like to provide him with our comprehensive guide so that he can be prepared to go into their consult. This way he can do his homework and get a good knowledge base so that the physician will be able to speak on a more detailed level to him.”
“I also go over what the doctor will be talking about so that he can be informed and have time to do more homework before the consult: He is going to be talking about the biopsy pathology report—this will help him understand this report and how to discuss(this is what the doctor will walk through), as well as the importance to get a copy of the biopsy report for the patient to keep and review.”
A: “In general, you want to determine what’s best for you. The doctors in this country (I had five consults) tend to recommend what they can do. You want to do what is best for you and that means empowering yourself and finding out what you should do in concert with your doctors. In most medical situations, you walk into the doctor and ask the doctor what to do and you do it. With prostate cancer, there are at least 12 treatment options.”
“Also, men often want to know how to be treated before they have met with their urologist. My response is that you’re putting the cart before the horse. It’s not time to figure that out yet, it’s time to understand and get information. With so many different factors at play, I encourage men to focus on and understand what they are dealing with. I have dealt with it, and I have talked to thousands of men who have too. Take it one step at a time—find out your information, talk with your urologist and then do your research on treatment options. I also tell every man that I speak with that if he wants to talk again, I can help him get a second opinion with a doctor.”
A: “Well the truth is there are 12+ options for treating prostate cancer out there, but what it really boils down to are the three things that are on every man’s mind: What’s the probability of cure? What’s the probability of having to wear pads or diapers? And what’s the probability of sexual side effects? Breaking down these three answers for a treatment decision gets to the core of how this should be done, in my opinion.”
A: “In general, most doctors would say surgery (Radical Prostatectomy) has a high cure rate probability. I personally was inclined to have surgery, and had a consult with a robotic surgeon at Johns Hopkins. When I discovered ProstRcision’s published 10 year cure rates seemed comparable to men who chose surgery at John Hopkins (many would consider they have the best surgeons for prostate cancer in the country), that led me to consider ProstRcision 8 years ago.
A: “Many men are concerned about the risks for sexual and urinary side effects, and they should be focused here. Based on the studies I have found, my opinion is that ProstRcision appears to have comparable sexual side effects to surgery. These probabilities can vary widely based on age, status at time of treatment, and other factors. In terms of leakage with highly experienced surgeons, the chance of urinary leakage is reported to be 8-17%. There is rarely urinary leakage after ProstRcision, since there is no cutting involved. This was a main factor in my choosing ProstRcision.
Joe Hall is a prostate cancer survivor and talks to men who are going through this process every day. Joe is passionate about winning the battle with prostate cancer and loves helping men through every step of the way on their journey. Call today to speak with Joe!