NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Prostate Cancer
Part 8: Making treatment decisions
8.2 Seeking information
You will likely meet with experts from different fields of
medicine. Strive to have helpful talks with each person.
Prepare questions before your visit and ask questions if
the person isn’t clear. You can also record your talks and
get copies of your medical records. It may be helpful to
have your spouse, partner, or a friend with you at these
visits. They can help to ask questions and remember
what was said. Suggested questions to ask include:
What’s my diagnosis and prognosis?
It’s important to know that there are different types of
cancer. Cancer can greatly differ even when people have
a tumor in the same organ. Based on your test results,
your doctors can tell you which type of cancer you have.
He or she can also give a prognosis. A prognosis is
a prediction of the pattern and outcome of a disease.
Knowing the prognosis may affect what you decide about
• Where did the cancer start? In what type of cell?
• Is this cancer common?
• What is the cancer stage? Does this stage mean the
cancer has spread far?
• What is the grade of the cancer? Does this grade
mean the cancer will grow and spread fast?
• What other tests results are important to know?
• How often are these tests wrong?
• Would you give me a copy of the pathology report
and other test results?
• Can the cancer be cured? If not, how well can
treatment stop the cancer from growing?
What are my options?
There is no single treatment practice that is best for all
patients. There is often more than one treatment option
along with clinical trial options. Your doctor will review
your test results and recommend treatment options.
• What will happen if I do nothing?
• Can I just carefully monitor the cancer?
• Do you consult NCCN recommendations when
• Are you suggesting options other than what NCCN
recommends? If yes, why?
• How do my age, health, and other factors affect my
• Which option is proven to work best?
• Which options lack scientific proof?
• What are the benefits of each option? Does any
option offer a cure? Are my chances any better for
one option than another? Which option spares the
most healthy tissue? Is any option less invasive?
Less time-consuming? Less expensive?