Information for the public

Prostate cancer: the care you should expect

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK. Prostate cancer often grows very slowly at first without even causing symptoms. Treatment may not be needed straightaway, but this depends on whether or not the cancer has spread within the prostate or to other parts of the body. This means decisions about treatment, what it should be and when it should start, are different for everyone.

We want this guideline to make a difference to people with prostate cancer by making sure:

  • your doctor explains the different tests used to diagnose prostate cancer, what they involve and how the results are used
  • your care team puts you at the centre of decisions about tests and treatments and helps you understand the possible benefits and risks
  • you have time and support to weigh up your choices – for example, between starting treatment or a period of regular monitoring.

Making decisions together

Decisions about treatment and care are best when they are made together. Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns.

To help you make decisions, think about:

  • What matters most to you – what do you want to get out of any treatment?
  • What are you most worried about – are there risks or downsides to the treatment that worry you more than others?
  • How will the treatment affect your day to day life?
  • What happens if you don’t want to have treatment?

If you can’t understand the information you are given, tell your healthcare professional.

Read more about making decisions about your care.

Where can I find out more?

The NHS website has more information about prostate cancer.  

The organisations below can give you more advice and support.

NICE is not responsible for the content of these websites.

To share an experience of care you have received, contact your local Healthwatch.

We wrote this guideline with people who have been affected by prostate cancer and staff who treat and support them. All the decisions are based on the best research available.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3376-1

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