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  • I don't have all my medical information in time for the meeting. Is it still OK to attend?
    Of course. The section for the Newly Diagnosed Support Group gives you some suggestions about what information would be helpful, but you'll still benefit from some solid guidance and hear good experiences from the other attendees.
  • Why do you recommend a second opinion for my biopsy/pathology report?
    Your prognosis and treatment options are based on the pathology report, so you want to be sure it's correct. Even though the pathologists are highly skilled, they are human and the ranking process is human, so getting a second opinion makes sense. Up to 30% of pathology reports are changed after a second opinion.
  • I'm hesitant. Do I have to talk? Can I just listen in?
    Certainly. Our meetings are held over Zoom, so you can use the Chat feature to let the moderator know you don't want to speak at this time.
  • Why do you say the standard 12-point biopsy isn't enough?
    It may be enough, but only if you are lucky. The standard biopsy is random in that it's essentially probing in the dark, albeit systematically, hoping to hit something. By contrast, a biopsy that is guided by an MRI targets suspicious areas that have already been detected by earlier imaging.
  • My wife/partner/loved ones want me to just cut out the cancer and be done with it. Are they right?
    If you "cut it out" you cut out the whole prostate (that's called a radical prostatectomy). That will take out any cancer that's in the prostate gland, BUT there is a very significant chance (no mattter how skilled your surgeon may be) that some of the important bits beside your prostate will be nicked or damaged, resulting in urinary and/or sexual side-effects. Any treatment, of course, risks side-effects, but these days prostatectomy seems to run the highest risk.
  • Why is Gleason 4+3 worse than Gleason 3+4? Aren't they both just Gleason 7?
    Gleason scores that add up to 7 are generally intermediate risk. 3+4 is generally a favorable intermediate risk, and 4+3 is generally an unfavorable intermediate risk. The difference is the amount of problem cells (Gleason pattern 4) present. The more pattern 4, the more aggressive the tumor. 3+4 means fewer than 50% pattern 4, and 4+3 means more than 50% pattern 4. The pattern 3 cells are basically not a problem. See Wikipedia and this video
  • There are so many treatment options. How do I decide which one is best for me?
    That's a decision for you and your medical team. Our recommendation? Educate yourself about the options, their effectiveness, and their side effects. Talk to others. Come to meetings. And remember - maybe you don't need treatment yet. For many men, Active Surveillance is the best option.
  • Will I have to wear adult diapers after treatment?
    Probably not. Many of our presenters have taked about incontinence and other side effects. Check out the Side Effects section of the Presentations Library.
  • Is there a membership fee for Prostate Forum of Orange County?
    No. Our meetings and registration are free. The organization and this site are run entirely by unpaid volunteers who are "paying it forward." We have benefited from the support and advice of other men who have lived with prostate cancer and we are happy to share our experience with others.
  • How can I help?
    Thanks for asking! You can help by volunteering your time and expertise and by making donations that help with our expenses. (We're a registered non-profit organization, so your donation is tax-deductible.) For details see Help Us Help Others.
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