What can the metastatic prostate cancer patient expect at their first visit with the oncologist?

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BruceRothMD (Physician - Oncology - Hematology/Oncology (Verified) ) - 01 / 28 / 2013

For some patients who already have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, dealing with the new diagnosis of cancer, processing information about the incurability of the disease, as well as making decisions regarding treatment options and understanding the side effects of the therapies being offered can be overwhelming. Those with a previous history of the cancer and who now have recurrent disease still are inundated with a large volume of data. The patient (hopefully accompanied by some family members should expect the treating physician to outline 1) the extent and locations of the metastases; 2) the various treatment options in detail as well as providing some background from the medical literature in sufficient detail to allow the patient to participate actively in the decision-making process; 3) the short, intermediate, and long-term side effects of the therapies being recommended; 4) provide either hard-copy or internet based resources to allow the patient and family members to go home and spend the appropriate amount of time to fully understand both the disease and the recommended treatments; and 5) to provide adequate time for a patient to ask questions to begin the journey to being fully informed. Patients should also be given the opportunity to seek other opinions regarding treatment options before committing to a specific treatment plan. Specifically, metastatic prostate cancer patients may here about systemic treatment options such as hormonal therapy and chemotherapy, as well as focal therapies such as radiation therapy (or in rare cases, surgery) as well as treatments to optimize bone health.
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