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Do I need treatment if I am diagnosed with prostate cancer?

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Because prostate tumors often grow slowly or not at all, they might not be harmful enough to need treatment. Some men decide -- with their doctors -- that "watchful waiting" or "active surveillance" are better options than surgery, chemo, or radiation. This approach means you’ll keep close track of the cancer with tests, biopsies, and regular doctor's visits to see if it gets worse. Research has shown that these can be safe options for many men. If the tumor starts to grow or if you're not comfortable with "doing nothing," talk with your doctor about moving forward with treatment.

SOURCES:

Baylor College of Medicine: "Primer on Prostate Cancer for the Newly Diagnosed Patient."

American Cancer Society: "What are the key statistics about prostate cancer?" "Prostate Cancer Overview," "Expectant management, watchful waiting, and active surveillance for prostate cancer," "Choosing a Doctor and a Hospital."

Cancer Research UK: "Coping with prostate cancer," "Who Can Help."

News release, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Prostate Cancer Foundation: "Living with Prostate Cancer - Active Surveillance," "Living with Prostate Cancer - Erectile Dysfunction," "Finding A Support Group."

University of California Los Angeles: "Active Surveillance - Watchful Waiting."

Cleveland Clinic: "Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Cancer Surgery."

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center: "Restoring Intimacy."

University of Pennsylvania OncoLink: "Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Cancer Surgery & Radiation Therapy."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Sexuality and Cancer Treatment: Men," "Talking With Your Spouse or Partner."

Prostate Cancer UK: "Living with Prostate Cancer."

Cancer Support Community: "Living with Prostate Cancer."

Reviewed by Louise Chang on June 7, 2018

SOURCES:

Baylor College of Medicine: "Primer on Prostate Cancer for the Newly Diagnosed Patient."

American Cancer Society: "What are the key statistics about prostate cancer?" "Prostate Cancer Overview," "Expectant management, watchful waiting, and active surveillance for prostate cancer," "Choosing a Doctor and a Hospital."

Cancer Research UK: "Coping with prostate cancer," "Who Can Help."

News release, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Prostate Cancer Foundation: "Living with Prostate Cancer - Active Surveillance," "Living with Prostate Cancer - Erectile Dysfunction," "Finding A Support Group."

University of California Los Angeles: "Active Surveillance - Watchful Waiting."

Cleveland Clinic: "Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Cancer Surgery."

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center: "Restoring Intimacy."

University of Pennsylvania OncoLink: "Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Cancer Surgery & Radiation Therapy."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Sexuality and Cancer Treatment: Men," "Talking With Your Spouse or Partner."

Prostate Cancer UK: "Living with Prostate Cancer."

Cancer Support Community: "Living with Prostate Cancer."

Reviewed by Louise Chang on June 7, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What side effects can I expect if I am diagnosed with prostate cancer?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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