Men’s Perspectives On Prostate Cancer Treatment

 

black and white photo of man looking out of window(BlackDoctor.org) — Approximately 1 in 6 US men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1 in 34 die from it each year. As a result of increased prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, most cancers are detected while they are localized to the gland.

For localized prostate cancer, current primary treatment options include surgery, radiation and watchful waiting. Rigorous evidence is still lacking regarding which option offers the best long-term survival, and each is associated with significant morbidity. Therefore, when diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, men face complex and often inconclusive information regarding treatment options and associated outcomes.

Treatment choices for localized prostate cancer appear to vary widely, although it is unclear whether this variation is a result of patient values or other factors such as information received or emotional feelings about a cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, considerable variation exists in prostate cancer treatment by racial/ethnic groups, with black men more likely to receive radiation therapy and white men to receive surgery.

Watchful waiting is the least used treatment option, chosen by fewer than 10% of men overall, with blacks more likely to choose it than whites. Few qualitative studies10,11 conducted near the time of initial diagnosis and treatment have elicited patients’ perspectives about the reasons for their treatment choices.