If you search the Web for information on prostate cancer and related topics, you’re bound to become overwhelmed, confused and maybe even a little terrified. After Googling for merely twenty minutes, many of my patients are left feeling unsure about the tests they need to have done, the results they should listen to and the steps they should take moving forward after a cancer diagnosis.
Although our society has certainly come to rely on the World Wide Web as a universal answer-key, when it comes to prostate cancer, it doesn’t have all the answers needed to help you navigate a diagnosis and the various treatment options. Only a doctor who knows the correct answers for your husband does.
I spend a great deal of time educating my patients and their spouses on their condition and individual options, so I know how important it is for you and your husband to get an answer to every one of your questions. I’ve had many patients come in, terrified from the results of their online search and afraid to ask the questions on their minds, since many of them are sensitive about this topic and embarrassed to ask important questions.
As a result, I’ve decided to compile a list of the top 12 questions your husband is afraid to ask his doctor about his prostate, but to which he needs to know the answer.
I urge you and your husband to discuss these difficult questions with his physician to make sure you both have all the information you need to comfortably make the right treatment choices.
- How often do I need to get tested and what does the test involve?
- What really are my risk factors?
- What symptoms should I be most worried about?
- How do I know the difference between regular aging and actual problems?
- What are the differences between traditional surgery methods and robotic surgery for prostate cancer?
- If I get my prostate removed, does that mean I can’t have kids anymore?
- How painful is the surgery required to have my prostate removed, and do I have to have the entire prostate removed?
- What are the real side effects from having my prostate removed?
- If I am diagnosed with prostate cancer, what should I choose to do? Why is there no set treatment?
- Without a prostate, can I still have sex?
- Will going to the bathroom always be uncomfortable without a prostate?
- What is the best treatment available to me with the least amount of risk for incontinence/impotence?
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About Dhiren Dave, M.D.
Dr. Dhiren Dave is the first fellowship-trained robotic surgeon at Somerset Medical Center, in the Somerville, N.J. borough. He graduated Tau Beta Pi from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering in 1998. He earned his M.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2003 and went on to complete his general surgery internship and urologic surgery residency training at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. It was during this time that he cultivated a specific interest in urologic oncology, advanced laparoscopy and minimally invasive surgery.
A Diplomat of the American Board of Urology, Dr. Dave completed further fellowship training in advanced robotically-assisted laparoscopic surgery and has extensive experience in performing surgery using the DaVinci robotic surgical system. He has conducted basic science and clinical research in the fields of prostate cancer, tissue engineering, and urologic oncology and has presented his work at multiple national meetings. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and has written several book chapters.