Prostate Cancer

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

The prostate is the male sex gland that helps make semen. It is about the size of a walnut and wraps around the urethra and the neck of the bladder. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the end of the penis. In most cases, prostate cancer is slow growing.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection after surgery. You could also develop bowel, sex, or urinary problems. After surgery, you may get a blood clot in your leg. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. If untreated, prostate cancer can spread to other parts of your body. These may lead to other serious or life-threatening conditions.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Activity:

You may need to walk around the same day of surgery, or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your caregiver says you can. Talk to caregivers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let caregivers know you need help.

Medicines:

  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

  • Antibiotic medicine: These are given to treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

Tests:

  • Prostate biopsy: A needle is used to take a sample of tissue from your prostate gland. The sample can show if you have cancer. It can also help healthcare providers determine the stage of your cancer.

  • Bone scan: This test uses a x-ray machine with a computer to take pictures of your bones. Healthcare providers look at the pictures to see if the cancer has spread to your bones.

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your prostate and other parts of your body. The pictures may show if your cancer has spread. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see the pictures better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

  • MRI: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your abdomen and pelvis. An MRI may show if the cancer has spread. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

Treatment:

  • Hormone therapy: This medicine is used to decrease testosterone (male hormone) levels.

  • Radiation therapy: High energy beams of x-rays are used to kill cancer cells. You may receive radiation therapy from outside your body. You may also be treated with small beads or rods placed inside your prostate.

  • Surgery: You may need surgery depending on the stage of the cancer. Part or all of your prostate may be removed. You may also need to have some lymph nodes taken out. This may help keep the cancer from spreading to other parts of your body.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Prostate Cancer (Inpatient Care)

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