Solving the prostate puzzle

Men diagnosed with prostate cancer often face an “overwhelming” amount of information, leaving them confused about treatment options, according to the Latrobe Valley Prostate Support Group.

The group has welcomed the development of a booklet designed to clear any confusion for those with low-risk prostate cancer and helping make the decision about which treatment to undergo easier.

The draft decision-aid ‘Low Risk Localised Prostate Cancer Treatment Options’ was created by the Active Surveillance Psycho-Oncology Study Group at the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre. Co-author Alan White said a major aim of the aid was to clarify the term ‘active surveillance’ – which only applied to men who met certain criteria and involved regular tests while delaying invasive treatments of surgery, radiotherapy or brachytherapy.

“At the moment there is a lack of concise information about active surveillance and what it entails… and that it is a genuine option,” the prostate cancer survivor said.

“It is not watchful waiting.”

Mr White said it was a way to delay the outcomes of surgery, which include incontinence and erectile dysfunction, which were both “significant for men and their partners”.

LVPSG secretary Allan Cunningham agreed information about the option was lacking.

“One of our members has been put on active surveillance and he doesn’t know what it means,” Mr Cunningham said.

“What Alan is talking about is one part of the jigsaw puzzle that is prostate cancer treatment.”

Mr White said the resource was in the draft stage and was being trialled at different hospitals before it would be available online at

He said while the release date was not expected to be until the end of next year, an accompanying video, which features interviews with sufferers, partners and clinicians, would be available by the end of this year.

Those diagnosed can visit – an online resource which provides personalised, specialist support.

? Vital prostate cancer online sites