Presenting treatment options to men with clinically localized prostate cancer: The acceptability of active surveillance/monitoring

  • Donovan J
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Abstract

Presenting treatment options to men with localized prostate cancer is difficult because of the lack of definitive evidence and the range of treatment options available. Active surveillance and monitoring programs are now a recognized treatment option for men with low-risk localized prostate cancer, but many patients are not fully aware of the details of such programs, and most still opt for immediate radical (surgery or radiotherapy) treatment. The provision of high-quality information with decision aids has been shown to increase the acceptability of active surveillance/monitoring programs. This chapter outlines techniques for providing high-quality information about active surveillance/monitoring, based on the findings of a randomized controlled trial of treatments for localized prostate cancer. The ProtecT (Prostate testing for cancer and Treatment) trial has randomized over 1500 men between active monitoring, radical surgery, and radical radiotherapy by ensuring that information was tailored to men's existing knowledge and views. Care was taken with the content, order, and enthusiasm of the presentation of treatments by recruitment staff, and clinicians and other health professionals were supported to feel comfortable with being open about the uncertainties in the evidence and helped to rephrase terminology likely to be misinterpreted by patients. These techniques of information provision should be added to the use of decision aids to enable patients diagnosed with clinically localized prostate cancer in routine practice to reach well-informed and reasoned decisions about their treatment, including full consideration of active surveillance and monitoring programs.

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Authors

  • Jenny L. Donovan

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