Here is the list of questions my wife and I used with the urologist/surgeon:
1. Do you recommend robotic for my situation? How do you compare this for my situation vs. brachytherapy?
2. How many of these procedures have you done?
3. For my situation, do you recommend surgery alone or with any other treatment. e/g/ hormone therapy?
4. I assume this is nerve sparing surgery?
5. Explain the procedure and timeline…pre op, op and post op
6. If I decided this week, when would we start?
7. What are the side effects for your patients? Do you have percentages? How do your results compare with best in class?
8. Re the urinary side effects, do you prescribe drugs to control them? Same for sexual?
9. Will this cure the cancer?
10. Why would I choose to go with you rather than to go to a center like Johns Hopkins?
11. What happens if the equipment fails during the procedure?
These are the questions we posed to the radiation oncologist:
1. How many of these procedures have you done?
2. Do you recommend this for my situation? How do you compare this for my situation vs. surgery?
3. For my situation, do you recommend brachytherapy alone or with other radiation treatment?
4. Is there any need for hormone therapy?
5. Explain the procedure…pre op, op and post op..
6. The seeds:
a. Some of the literature suggests using MRI to insert the seeds. Is that your technique and, if not, why not?
b. How many seeds and what type?
c. Have you had any issues with seed migration?
d. Could you give us a general idea of how the seeds are plotted? How many in each section, etc?
e. What is the life of the seeds?
f. Do the seeds affect other organs?
7. What is the timeline…pre op, op and post op?
8. If I decided this week, when would we start?
9. What are the side effects for your patients? Do you have percentages? How about side effects over time, i.e. quality of life 2-3+ years out?
10. Re the urinary side effects, how effective are the drugs to control them? Same for sexual? Bowel?
11. Will this cure the cancer?
12. What do you see as the advantages of this vs. surgery?
13. If I have this process and the cancer returns what happens? Is surgery still possible in the future?
Gleason 4 +3 = 7
Brachytheraply volume study 11/14/09. brachytherapy to be scheduled in early December