This booklet is for men who have been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. It contains information to help you understand treatment options for advanced prostate cancer. It may also be helpful for your family and friends.
In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. It is estimated that in 2014, about 21,000 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, accounting for approximately 30% of all new cancers in men.
There are different stages of advanced prostate cancer. Sometimes your cancer cannot be cured, but it is possible to slow the growth of the cancer and reduce symptoms to improve your quality of life. Many treatments can improve survival, which means many men live for years with advanced prostate cancer.
Your cancer journey
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, it’s common for you to see a number of health professionals with different expertise who work together as a team, called a multidisciplinary team (also known as a healthcare team). Best practice treatment and supportive care for people with cancer involves a team of different health professionals. Each team member brings different skills that are important in managing care and in making decisions around your individual needs. The team includes health professionals who are involved in diagnosing your cancer, treating your cancer, managing symptoms and side effects, assisting you with your feelings or concerns during your cancer journey.
The cancer journey is your personal experience of cancer. It’s not the same for everybody, even with the same type of cancer. Depending on your stage of prostate cancer and other underlying conditions, your experience may be quite different.
As the diagram Your cancer journey shows, it can be useful to think of the journey in stages that may include detection, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care and survivorship. For some, it may include end of life care. Take each stage as it comes so you can break down what feels like an overwhelming situation into smaller, more manageable steps.
Many people want to take an active part in making decisions about their care. Gaining information about prostate cancer and its treatment will help you make decisions. This booklet aims to provide you with information to help you decide which of the treatments for advanced prostate cancer is best for you, where to find more information and organisations to support you on your cancer journey. Being informed enables you to participate in decisions about your care and leads to improved experiences and better care.