Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men. As the baby boom generation matures, more men will be diagnosed with this disease. Much of the US population is not adequately informed about the risk of getting the disease or the array of quality treatment available. Patients and family members, during the period of a new cancer diagnosis, or the report of disease progression, are often driven to search out and find a connection and/or information from others who have coped with a similar situation.
Because of the importance of personal credibility in associating with someone else who is experiencing, or has experienced, the same situations and need for decisions, The Prostate Net has launched its Reflections of Empowerment initiative, a series of interviews between trusted doctors and their patients, that will address all available treatment possibilities from active surveillance, to radiation and chemotherapy, hormonal treatment to clinical trials, complementary medicine and palliative care. We will not only look at the physiological implications of the disease but also the psychological effects on the individuals and families affected as well. A significant other will accompany most patients as the disease process affects the family and an individual's entire support system.
Our project goal is to assist patients make the best-informed healthcare decisions regarding their disease. Not only will Reflections of Empowerment provide clinical guidance for patients and their doctors, it is also expected that our first hand stories from survivors of prostate cancer will bolster hope, inspire confidence, enable perseverance, and promote empowerment among prostate cancer patients and their loved ones.
Personal Reflections and Empowered Decisions
View the personal conversations with Charlotte and Alan Hiller, and Dr. David
Shin, on how they confronted a diagnosis of prostate cancer and their choice of
active surveillance as their desired therapy.
Charlotte and Alan Hiller
Dr. David Shin Hackensack University Medical Center
When faced with the decision of how to treat the diagnosis of prostate cancer Zelda and Victor Lawson made a choice of proton beam radiotherapy. View their conversation on the process by clicking here.
Zelda and Victor Lawson
Dr. Henry Tsai, ProCure Proton Therapy Center
Participating in Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are medical research studies conducted with patients who volunteer to participate in investigations designed to evaluate new treatments - which can include drugs, surgical techniques, radiation therapies - or combinations of therapies. The "pros" and "cons" of joining a clinical trial vary from study to study, and from patient to patient.
In this story of "Reflections of Empowerment" we will meet Jerry and Senorita Jackson who tell us about their journey with prostate cancer from diagnosis through treatment and today, thanks to their participation in an investigational drug study, are living with cancer.
Typically, the usual course of treatment for advanced stage disease, due to primary treatment failure, is a form of hormonal therapy, also called androgen ablation that seeks to remove testosterone from the system because testosterone contributes to the growth of the cancer cells. You should note that typical hormone therapies are NOT curative and that your system will at some point become hormone/androgen independent (the cancer recurs). Because of the complex nature of the disease, at the time that the PSA begins to rise, you should consult with a medical oncologist along with your urologist to determine what the best therapeutic approach should be implemented for your situation.
Dr. Maha Hussain of the University of Michigan Cancer Center speaks about the controversy between intermittent and continuous androgen deprivation therapy.
The Choice for Integrative Medicine......
Guy Clemente, facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer, decided on an alternative medicine therapy with the help of Dr. Geo Espinosa, Director of the Integrative Urology Center at NYU Langone Medical Center.
In his story Guy talks about decisions he needed to make not only as to choice of treatment options, but also about the lifestyle alterations he saw as necessary.
In many cases you will want to reach out for a personal
input to aid in your information search. We provide a team of survivor
counselors who can provide help in your decision-making; you can
request their assistance by:
Research has shown that men, and their caregivers, who participate in patient support
groups have a definite survival advantage versus those who do not. We have
provided here information on those organizations whose missions serve to provide personal interaction and encouragement in the fight against this disease.
In this emerging technological world, information
is flowing from a variety of sources that offer interactive communication
(Blogs) that may be of benefit to you. A cautionary note should
be taken in these forums that you contact your doctor before acting
on any such information received. Some of the available forums are
KevinMD Medical Weblog - A site maintained by Dr. Kevin Pho to provide
provocative physician commentary on breaking medical news.