How can prostate cancer patients have engaged conversations with their healthcare team? This animated video reviews key questions patients can ask to help them navigate their treatment and care decisions.
Hi, I’m Niki, and I’m a prostate cancer nurse practitioner. And this is Anthony, who is living with advanced prostate cancer.
[Disclaimer on screen: Patient experience depicted in this video is fictional.]
Thanks for joining us! In this video, Niki and I are going to walk you through key questions to ask your prostate cancer team as you navigate your care decisions.
First of all, it’s helpful to ask your physician how much experience they have treating prostate cancer patients. If appropriate, you may want to consider a second opinion.
And it’s important to also have a deeper understanding of your disease by asking:
- What stage and grade is the prostate cancer? Has it spread beyond the prostate?
- Are there additional tests that you should undergo to provide a fuller picture of your disease?
- What educational resources are recommended to learn more about prostate cancer?
Once you understand more about your diagnosis and disease, then it’s time to really understand what steps could be next.
And, if – and when – your disease does need to be treated, you should feel engaged in deciding on your treatment plan.
That’s right. You can start by asking if treatment needs to begin right away or if you will be monitored for any changes.
- Then, establish the goals of your treatment plan. Based on your diagnosis and stage of disease, is the goal to try to cure the cancer or to manage the disease symptoms?
- Ask what treatment options are available to you and which approach is recommended for YOUR disease?
- And inquire if there is a clinical trial that could be right for you.
- Finally, ask what your options are if the initial treatment doesn’t appear to be effective or if your disease progresses.
Once you know your options, ask about the potential short term and long-term side effects of each approach and how they may be managed.
You should also find out how your lifestyle may be impacted. For instance:
- Find out how each approach could impact your daily life, including your sex life, and for how long.
- You may also inquire about how treatment may impact fertility and if you should speak with a fertility specialist.
- Ask about the financial implications of each approach and whether there are resources for financial assistance.
That’s great advice, Anthony. We hope these questions give you a good starting point for engaged conversations with your team. Remember, you may have more questions related to your individual situation, these are just a starting point to help.
Don’t forget to download the guide that accompanies this video. It will have a comprehensive list of the questions we have reviewed.
And visit powerfulpatients.org/PC to access more videos with Niki and me.