Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: What Comes Next?
Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be difficult and understanding all treatment options is overwhelming. Patients recently diagnosed or relapsed with prostate cancer may be wondering what the right next step would be.
It doesn’t have to be done alone.
We’ve created an actionable guide that lays out the considerations when dealing with a prostate cancer diagnosis to ensure no step is missed and to help manage the process.
Step 1: Understand Your Diagnosis
Understand Your Diagnosis
Ask the right questions:
- Where is the cancer located?
- What is my PSA level?
- Has the cancer spread from where it started?
- What is the stage of my cancer? What does this mean?
- What is my prognosis?
- What treatment do you recommend and why?
- Should I get genetic testing?
- Should I think about participating in a clinical trial?
Educating youself is essential:
- National Cancer Institute
- American Cancer Society
- Massive Bio Patient Resources
Step 2: Build A Cancer Care Team
Build A Cancer Care Team
Your primary oncologist is not the only person involved in your cancer care.
- Family and friends: Help with child care, transportation, and house maintenance
- Doctor and nursing staff: Your primary cancer care and treatment team
- Genetic specialists: Find gene mutations and inherited cancer risk
- Nutritionists: Manage diet before, during, and after cancer treatment
- Therapists: Address the emotional effects of your diagnosis
- Social workers: Help with discharge planning and finding home health care
- Support or advocacy groups: Assist you with navigating the cancer landscape
Step 3: Get the Right Tests
Get the Right Tests
A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is commonly done to determine if further testing is needed to diagnose prostate cancer. If PSA levels are above 4, there is a chance that prostate cancer is present. In this case, a prostate biopsy and further testing is needed to determine a diagnosis. Additional tests include a digital rectal exam (DRE), other prostate tests such as a Prostate Health Index (PHI), 4Kscore test, or percent-free PSA. Other testing commonly performed include imaging tests such as MRI, and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) can help you determine your biomarker status, to assist in the selection of treatment.
Step 4: Understand the Standard Treatments
Understand the Standard Treatments
- The most commonly recommended treatment for prostate cancer.
- Knowing your biomarker status can help determine the effectiveness of targeted therapy or other therapies.
- Cancer clinical trials are research studies used to improve treatments and quality of life for patients.
- Access to investigational medical products or treatment outside of clinical trials in immediately life-threatening conditions.
Step 5: Understand Research Treatments
Understand Research Treatments
Around 300 Prostate Cancer clinical trials are currently active in the United States. These trials are investigating new treatments and detection methods that could save lives in the future!
Participating in a clinical trial not only progresses much needed research, but gives patients access to these new innovative therapies years before the general population.
Step 6: Finding Resources
Locating the appropriate resources may seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there are programs designed to help.
- Sign up for local prostate cancer specific groups to connect with other people going through a similar journey.
- Reach out to local patient advocacy groups to get connected to education, care, and financial programs as needed.
- Utilize your clinic or hospital's community resource manager or social worker to receive a tailored resource guide just for you.
Step 7: Take A Step Forward
Take A Step Forward
Towards a positive outcome.
Be your own advocate and look for proactive options, such as clinical trials. Decide on a treatment plan and stay positive during your cancer journey. Know that there are resources and people around you who are willing to help.
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Interested in Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials?
Massive Bio is 4x more successful in finding cancer clinical trial matches for patients than any other service provider. Partner with our patient advocates to learn how you can access prostate cancer clinical trials matched to your unique cancer.