Prostate Cancer: The Father's Day Gift You Never Thought About

Cancer Consortium's Healing Choices Study Offers Help

Jun 14, 2010, 10:57 ET from Cancer Information Service Research Consortium

MARLTON, N.J., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- While Father's Day gifts range from the touching to the hilarious, the best gift you might give your father or spouse is help and support during the difficult time of a cancer diagnosis.

Often men have tremendous difficulties deciding about their treatment, which can add to needless distress and side effects, says Michael Diefenbach, Ph.D., associate professor of Urology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the lead investigator of Healing Choices, a new prostate cancer study.

Compounding the problem is the added strain this places on the wife.

"Prostate cancer is a family disease, and the spouse is usually heavily involved in his care and has to cope with the physical and emotional changes of their partner," says Diefenbach.

Also, most men follow the recommendation of the first specialist they're seeing, even though other options might exist and that they usually have time to make an informed decision, Diefenbach explains.  

The Cancer Information Service Research Consortium (CISRC) is conducting a Healing Choices study that will try to determine if receiving a multimedia presentation of medical options helps patients make informed treatment decisions.

Patients who call toll-free, 866-258-7981, will receive one of two information packets, depending on which part of the study they become enrolled in. Some will receive a free, multimedia program and printed material. Others will receive only printed material.

Both groups will receive information that outlines various options.

"This multimedia program allows patients and their families to watch and listen to various treatment options, which we feel will help them make a more informed decision," says Diefenbach.

To be eligible to participate, the patient must have a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer and not yet have chosen any treatment.

"If your loved one has prostate cancer, pick up the phone on their behalf and make the call," says Diefenbach. "You will receive the best possible information, and your participation will help those who are diagnosed in the future."

The National Cancer Institute is funding the study with a grant to CISRC.

Approximately 217,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.

SOURCE Cancer Information Service Research Consortium