Ask Selma!

Q. Hello Selma! My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the early stages but after his prostate was removed he still had a reading. For the past several years he has been taking hormone therapy. What I do not understand is why isn’t cancer left over from prostate removal treated with radiotherapy or seed implants or ….? Is it because it is not easy to locate? I can’t get used to the “watch and wait” scenario. You’re basically waiting for it to spread to the bones, by which time it is too late for any successful treatment? Thank you for all you do.

A. Watchful waiting naturally causes a sense of concern and anxiety. When one is receiving active treatment there is always a greater feeling of safety because you’re doing something. But the watch and wait scenario is not uncommon and may be recommended in low-grade prostate cancer since the cancer may never move beyond that point. Sometimes it is also a quality of life decision or a choice in order to avoid negative side effects associated with the more aggressive forms of treatment. If your father is concerned then a second opinion is always an option so he can feel more secure with his treatment decision. The treatment of prostate cancer involves a multidisciplinary approach – the medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and urologist, so it’s a good idea to be treated by a team of specialists well experienced in treating prostate cancer. Since it makes sense to want to be on top of his situation before there could be additional problems, you may want to think about getting a consultation at a prostate cancer program at the cancer center near him. Please also look for more information at UsTOO International.

IMPORTANT NOTE: No information in the “Ask Selma” column is intended to diagnose or treat any condition and should not be construed as medical advice. The opinions expressed here are Selma’s and do not necessarily reflect those of Vital Options International. You should never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health care provider because of something you read on any website.