The empowered patient will not look to doctors to make the decision for him. It's not a matter of trust or competence. The doctor cannot know how it is to be you - what's important to you, what you can live with, and what you can't. As Jim suggested, you have to look inward. Here are some suggested questions to ask yourself. Questions for yourself
• Do I need to see a pathology report to tell me how contained it was?
• If I choose radiation, can I live with the fact that PSA goes down over a number of years, with bounces along the way, and never becomes undetectable?
• If the pathology is adverse and PSA does not become undetectable, am I prepared to undergo adjuvant radiation with all the potential side effects that entails? (Your doctor has hopefully run a nomogram showing the probability of this happening)
• If the radiation doesn't work, am I prepared to have a biopsy and possible focal brachy re-treatment?
• Which bothers me more - the potential for incontinence and ED after surgery or the potential for retention and irritative effects after radiation? (given the probabilities of those side effects)
• Do I understand the other possible side effects of surgery? (e.g., infection, hernia, climacturia, penile shrinkage, stress incontinence, etc.) Am I prepared to take on penile rehab?
• Do I understand the other possible side effects of radiation? (e.g., fatigue, proctitis, hemorrhoids, frequency, urgency, burning while peeing, ED).
• Am I prepared to undergo radiation therapy and its side effects?
• Am I prepared to undergo surgery and its recovery?
I hope you will take your time deciding - there really is no rush, given your favorable diagnosis:
Allen - not an MD
•PSA=7.3, prostate volume=55cc, 8/17 cores G6 5-35% involvement
•SBRT 9 yr onc. results
•SBRT 7 yr QOL results
•treated 10/2010 at age 57 at UCLA,PSA now: 0.1,no lasting urinary, rectal or sexual SEsmy PC blog