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New study investigates treatment-associated regrets in prostate cancer
- By Charlie Schmidt, Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases
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I was diagnosed with an advanced case of prostate cancer (Gleason score 8) in 2017. I am the type that researches such decisions thoroughly, but I did feel urgency to choose a treatment option. I was concerned primarily with achieving a complete cure, but side effects were also a significant concern. I did not find the doctors I consulted, including my urologist, were helpful in providing guidance. I read and re-read the Harvard Guide on Prostate Diseases, but I was still uncertain. I also became suspicious about the validity of the various data points I was being told about. For example, do the best surgeons hand select their patients to reflect better on their outcomes? Is the data on complications and side effects doctor reported or patient reported? The information I got from interviewing former patients turned out to be most influential to me, but I was disappointed there wasn't a more scientific matrix of decision guidance. I am three years post treatment now and my outcome is quite good (not perfect) so far. I appear to be cancer free and most side effects have resolved, so I would be in the satisfied category overall, but there should still be a better way to guide men faced with this common problem.
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2021 Annual Report on Prostate Diseases
Most men eventually develop some type of prostate problem, and when they do there are usually no easy solutions. More than a primer on prostate conditions, this Special Health Report, the Annual Report on Prostate Diseases, includes roundtable discussions with experts at the forefront of prostate research, interviews with men about their treatment decisions, and the latest thinking on complementary therapies. This report will provide you with the information you need to understand the current controversies, avoid common pitfalls, and work with your doctor to make informed choices about your prostate health.
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