The 'Knowing Your Options' prostate cancer tool is for patients with a new diagnosis of Prostate Cancer that has not spread.
The new web resource, Knowing Your Options, has been developed by the East of England Cancer Alliances – which work as part of the NHS to transform cancer services across the region – along with local hospital specialist teams and patients.
The new resource allows newly diagnosed patients, faced with a number of different treatment options, to enter their own personal cancer metrics, such as PSA and other test results, into a secure web link that analyses their data and sets out their full range of options, with risks and benefits specific to that person.
With prostate cancer, there are often a number of treatment options that are equally recommended in terms of survival rates but with very different impacts on quality of life.
An individual’s diagnostic data is matched against the recommended treatment options as published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), that sets out the treatment options for that person – along with risks and side effects – allowing them to make better informed decisions about their care.
The new web resource can be used for all newly-diagnosed prostate cancer patients except where the cancer has spread (i.e. metastatic) or has returned.
Treatment for prostate cancer will depend on individual circumstances with a wide range of treatment options available, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone treatment, or symptom control. For many men, no treatment may be necessary. When treatment is necessary, the aim is to cure or control the disease so it affects everyday life as little as possible and does not shorten life expectancy.
But different treatments can have negative side effects that impact differently on men’s lives, such as sexual function, urinary incontinence and change in bowel habits.
Until recently, the information men received when facing a new prostate cancer diagnosis could vary – now they can access this information directly themselves based on current national guideline recommendations.