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The Cancer Care Center
Prostate cancer: patient FAQs
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you probably have many questions and concerns. We understand this, and your health care team at St. Anthony's Cancer Care Center is here to answer all your questions and provide reassurance.
Here are some frequently asked questions about prostate cancer:
Q. Why do I have to get a biopsy?
A. A biopsy offers a definitive diagnosis of cancer. Imaging studies and blood work can show the doctor if there is an abnormality and where it is located, but the doctor cannot definitively determine that the tumor is malignant based on a scan. During a biopsy, your doctor removes a piece of the tissue and sends it to a pathology lab. There, a trained pathologist analyzes it and determines whether it is cancerous.
A biopsy is a surgical procedure, but it is done on an outpatient basis and you are usually able to return to your regular activities immediately. Learn more about prostate biopsies.
Q. What am I going to do if the diagnosis is cancer?
A. Once you receive a cancer diagnosis, your health care team springs into action, ready to begin treatment. You will not be alone during this time. Your health care team will carefully explain your treatment options and what your next steps should be, and answer any of your questions, ranging from treatment to insurance to where to park.
St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center offers sophisticated, state-of-the-art therapies, including a robotic da Vinci® Si™ Surgical System, and the Trilogy™ IGRT System for radiation therapy. You also have access to the latest cancer clinical trials, made available through St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center's affiliation with the Washington University School of Medicine.
Q. Am I going to die from this?
A. Anytime you hear the word cancer, you thoughts are going to move toward your mortality. Even your doctor does not know the answer to that question. Know that everyone on your health care team is committed to providing you the most advanced treatment possible so you have the best possible chance to beat this disease.
Q. How do I break the news to my family?
A. This question depends on your family: how many people are included, how do they best receive difficult information, how can you make it easy on yourself? You may decide to craft an e-mail, call people on the phone or talk to them in person. The most important thing to say is that you feel very confident with your health care and you are going to stay positive. When they ask how they can help, have something prepared, even if it is just “Please keep me in your thoughts.” Remember, you are the patient, and you need to care for yourself now.
Q. Is everything I need in this building?
A. Yes, during your testing and treatment, you will not be given the run-around. Everything you need and everyone you need to talk to is right here at St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center, including:
- radiology department for your imaging tests
- fully-equipped surgical center and radiation therapy center
- every doctor and nurse on your health care team — radiologists, oncologists, surgeons
For information about St. Anthony's Cancer Care Center - St. Louis, please call 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.