Third in series from “What I Would Tell My Brother”, Appendix A in my book:

Seek as many opinions as necessary to determine the best treatment plan, including consultations with professionals who will not be performing your treatment.

Medical research papers, although technically daunting do provide clarity and consensus on the newest developments in screenings, investigative methods, and treatments. Well-conducted studies reflect independent thinking free of marketing influences.

Always be chasing! Whether I was seeking information, appointments, medical records, biopsy slides, or a reply, I found it necessary to chase after them all. If not, valuable time is lost while you wait unnecessarily, adding to the anxieties one already faces.

footnote: seeking many medical opinions can be overwhelming, and sometimes requires out-of-pocket expenses, but I find this necessary with prostate cancer given that comprehensive multidisciplinary reviews are not practiced in the USA.

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Second in series from “What I Would Tell My Brother”, Appendix A in my book:

Imaging (currently MRI or ultrasound) should be performed if any concern is identified. Give careful thought to the degree of sensitivity you want to reply upon—for imaging techniques are not created equally.

If a biopsy is recommended, quell all fears and appreciate they are a walk in the park compared to childbirth (or so they say). Request imaging to target the biopsy needle to the more concerning areas of the tumor to obtain a better analysis of the cancer threat. Consider a second reading of the biopsy pathology, because critical decisions are based on the grading.

If cancer is diagnosed, obtain a genomic assay (or something similar) to help determine the risk of the tumor.

Consult with an independent oncologist to determine whether the cancer is a sheep or a wolf, and when possible determine if it is localized to the barn, the barnyard, or out on the highway.

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