With specialist prostate cancer treatment clinics in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and now in the USA, Vitus are the world leaders in prostate cancer treatment, offering patients hope, innovative treatment and impressive results.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, affecting 25% of all men. The standard treatments are time-consuming and associated with significant side effects. A new retrospective study shows: Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) makes it possible to treat prostate cancer more efficiently, more specifically and with fewer side effects.
Prostate cancer, with an estimated 307,000 annual deaths worldwide, is the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in men (6.6% of total deaths). Standard treatments are the surgical removal of the prostate (radical prostatectomy = RPE) and radiation therapy. These are, however, associated with severe side effects, including impotence and incontinence, and post-treatment rehabilitation is often required.
Focal Therapy as an alternative
In a new scientific article, the outcome of 429 prostate cancer patients who were treated with Irreversible Electroporation (IRE), a focal and minimally-invasive therapy, was evaluated and presented. The remarkable result was: IRE of prostate cancer is safe, fast and just as effective as established treatments.
The data was published in the “international scientific Journal PlosOne“and presents the results of the 429 patients that were treated with IRE, comprising all stages and grades of prostate cancer. The study shows that the efficacy of the treatment is not impaired by the inclusion of higher cancer stages and grades.
IRE Treatment is just as effective as cutting the prostate out
In comparison to RPE, the surgical removal of the prostate, IRE treatment showed similar recurrence rates over the course of up to 6 years. This result indicates a similar efficacy of both therapies. However, the data also showed a much lower toxicity profile of IRE: the impotence rate was about 10%, while none (0%) of the patients became incontinent. For comparison, the rate of impotence after RPE is about 80% and incontinence about 10% (see New England Journal of Medicine 2013).
According to the authors, these positive results were not only achieved through the effectiveness of the treatment but are also attributable to the many years of experience of the physicians carrying out the treatments. “In recent years, we have refined the application of IRE for prostate cancer treatment” explains Dr. Michael Stehling, Head of the VITUS Prostate Center and Principal Investigator of this retrospective study. The VITUS Prostate Center has now treated over 900 patients, making the center not only a pioneer in the field, but also the clinic with the largest number patients treated with IRE for prostate cancer worldwide.
Dr. Stehling considers novel, personalized therapies as the future. “The goal is to treat each patient individually and to tailor the therapy to his/her specific needs. VITUS Prostate Center’s priority is to promote and facilitate innovative cancer therapies by developing more effective and better-tolerated treatment options for those affected.”
On Irreversible Electroporation
Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) is a novel focal therapy that is minimally invasive. During IRE, fine needles are placed through the skin and around the prostate via image guidance. The needles are then connected to a medical device, called the NanoKnife, which gives off high-frequency high-voltage pulses. The entire treatment takes about 90 minutes. After just one day, the patient can be discharged. Rehabilitation is not necessary.
More information for cancer patients
For more detailed information on early detection, treatment and aftercare of prostate cancer, consult VITUS Prostate Center at www.vitusprostate.com
The Vitus Prostate Center in Offenbach, Germany accompanies and advises the medical team of the Vitus Prostate Center San Diego in treatments of prostate cancer with Irreversible Electroporation. What makes it so special this time: for the first this happens from afar.
So far, Dr. Stehling and his team, the world-leading experts for IRE treatments of prostate cancer, have traveled to the US for each treatment performed at the Center in San Diego to advise and guide the on-site medical team and share valuable knowledge in hands-on training sessions.
This month, the process was revolutionized for the first time. The team in Germany was able to use a special remote connection, which makes it possible to observe the placement of the electrodes as well as the patient’s ultrasound and MRI data, to accompany and supervise the procedure from Offenbach, Germany.
In the future, the world’s leading experts of IRE of prostate cancer, will be able to offer individualized cancer therapies and ensure optimal intervention for patients from all over the world in real-time.
Dr. Schwartzberg and Dr. Cooper are radiologists that have established a new clinic in San Diego for the treatment of prostate cancer. The clinic was originally called the Prostate Center of San Diego and is now called Vitus Prostate Center. Dr. Schwartzberg set up the clinic in conjunction with Dr. Michael Stehling who is based in Offenbach in Germany. Dr Stehling is an interventional radiologist and is the world’s leading expert in a new form of prostate cancer treatment known as NanoKnife or IRE
The development of the new clinic grew of out of Dr. Schwartzberg’s interest and work in the area of imaging for prostate cancer or MRI.
So, what is the prostate? He explains that the prostate is a reproductive organ that sits between the rectum and the bladder. As men get older the prostate gets larger in 60-70% of men and about 17% or 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Dr. Schwartzberg talks about PSA screening for Prostate Cancer. He explains that PSA (prostate specific antigen) is a protein that is produced by the prostate. It was adopted in the early 90’s as the standard screening test for prostate cancer. However, the PSA test is now one of the most controversial topics in medicine today. The reason for the question marks about PSA is the level of false positives it produces leading to many patients being treated unnecessarily and these treatments have side effects. 7-8 men with elevated PSA levels do not have prostate cancer. The elevated PSA level may be caused by an enlarged healthy prostate or a perineal trauma which could be caused by too much cycling! A very large prostate will produce high levels of PSA but it does not mean that you have cancer. Prostate MRI has been proven to be an accurate triage tool to be used to determine if a man with elevated PSA needs to proceed to prostate biopsy, and serves to guide the placement of the biopsy needles.
PSA screening is important in certain higher risk cases however. Family history is a strong predictor of prostate cancer. So, if your father died of prostate of prostate cancer there is a far higher chance that you will get prostate cancer. Men of African and Caribbean descent have a far higher (2.5 times higher) probability of getting prostate cancer. So early PSA screening – as early as 45 – is appropriate for these men.
Dr. Schwartzberg explains that prostate cancer falls into two broad categories – low risk cancers and high grade aggressive cancers. Men can live with low risk cancers and manage the cancer by taking an active surveillance approach without intervention. In fact, many men grow old and die with their low risk prostate cancer but not from their prostate cancer. Fortunately, aggressive cancers are less frequent than low risk cancers. In fact, 17% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer but only 3% of men will die from the cancer. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell the difference between low risk and aggressive cancers due to the limitations PSA and “blind biopsies” (biopsies that are not guided by imaging) which until now has been the standard approach to diagnosis. PSA levels are measured in a blood test so give no indication where in the prostate the cancer might be. Obviously, the important cancers to identify are the high grade aggressive cancers.
High grade imaging or MRI is a major improvement on the PSA + Blind Biopsy approach to prostate cancer diagnosis. MRI produces detailed images of the entire prostate gland and allows radiologists to detect and localise the cancer and the treatment. In layman’s language Dr. Schwartzberg says that MRI allows us “to look before we poke”. He goes on to say that “we can now see the cancer in the gland”
The advantages of using MRI for diagnosing prostate cancer are significant to all men; to men in high risk categories e.g. Black men – MRI can be used to target the biopsy to provide early and accurate diagnosis of the cancer; in men with elevated PSA and subsequent negative MRI (no target or index lesion)biopsy may be avoided with extremely low risk that a clinically significant cancer has been missed.
MRI is a major step forward for prostate cancer diagnosis and also provides critical information for deciding on the most suitable treatment pathway for men with prostate cancer. Dr. Schwartzberg explained that he got into the area of prostate cancer treatment through his work and interest in imaging which allows us to see the prostate cancer clearly.
The second and equally important news for prostate cancer patients is a new treatment called NanoKnife or IRE (Irreversible electroporation) which builds on the accurate identification of the cancer cells by MRI.
NanoKnife is a non-invasive focal therapy that removes the cancer but not the gland. It uses electrical pulses to kill the tumor without damaging the areas surrounding the prostate. Dr. Schwartzberg has partnered with Professor Michael Stehling who is the world’s leading expert in NanoKnife/ IRE.
At first NanoKnife/ IRE was thought only to be effective for low grade prostate cancer. Dr Stehling has proven in the Vitus Prostate Center in Offenbach in Germany that NanoKnife is extraordinarily effective for patients who have had failed prostate cancer treatment. The reason this works is that NanoKnife is a non-surgical procedure so unlike other surgical procedures that leave scar tissue NanoKnife can be repeated several times if necessary. This is a major advantage because prostate cancer returns in about 10% of all prostate cancer patients.
The success rate in terms of eliminating cancer is tracking similar to conventional radical treatments e.g. prostatectomy. The compelling advantage of NanoKnife/IRE over other treatments is that it reduces the side effects of prostate cancer treatment i.e. it reduces the risk of incontinence to zero and markedly decreased risk of impotence (below 20%).
NanoKnife/Ire is the next generation of prostate cancer treatment because it treats the identifiable tumor and preserves the rest of the gland. This is exactly the same approach that is used for the modern treatment of breast cancer. In the old days radical treatment of breast cancer was normal – today surgeons just remove the tumour and preserve the rest of the gland.
NanoKnife/ Ire is essentially a pain free procedure. It involves a two-hour procedure where needles are used to piece the skin. Electric pulses are passed surrounding the cancer cells. The cells are damaged irreversibly and die. The procedure is performed in outpatient facility and patients may be discharged after patient recovers from the effects of the anesthestic.
The combination of MRI and NanoKnife/IRE really is major step forward for prostate cancer treatment and is now available at the Vitus Prostate Center in San Diego.
Prostate cancer is not a womans disease. However, chances are that one of your loved ones (partner, father, brother) may be affected by prostate cancer at some point in his life. While 50 percent of prostate cancer cases occur in men over the age of 65, it can affect younger men as well. The following are some things to know about prostate cancer for women.
Prostate cancer does not always show symptoms
While advanced prostate cancer can cause some troublesome symptoms like urinary urgency, burning, increased uninary frequency, erection problems, blood in urine, and local and remote pain, most of the time, this disease gives few signs or symptoms before significant progression. This is the reason why most doctors recommend adopting a preventive life style with regular checkups to detect early changes of prostate cancer.
Talk to your doctor about screening
All men over the age of 40 should talk to their doctor about screening. Your loved one should undergo regular checkups and screening, especially if prostate cancer has occurred in other family members. A screening test includes detection of PSA (prostate specific antigen) in the patient’s blood whose levels can indicate prostate cancer. High PSA levels are not always suggestive of cancer, as they can occur due to various prostate pathologies like inflammation, infection, trauma and senile processes (aging). Only 25% of men with high PSA levels actually have cancer, which means that this test is not very specific. However, if your partner is above the age of 40, has a positive family history of prostate cancer or is an African-American, he should get his PSA level tested, and if the PSA is elevated, he should consider to geting an MRI of the prostate. An MRI is much more accurate, non-invasive and will give your man a look inside his prostate.
A superior way to detect prostate cancer
As previously mentioned, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the prostate is a non-invasive method of cancer detection in the prostate. With a high specificity and sensitivitiy, it can detect clinically significant disease much better than a punch biopsy. Read more about the benefits of MRI of the prostate here.
Treatment is not necessary for every man with prostate cancer
A recent study by scientists at Harvard University found that approximately 60-70% of prostate cancers fall into the category of low-risk cancers, meaning that they are small in size and their growth is so slow that they will rarely transform into higher risk cancer. Such cases do not need aggressive treatment that cause severe side effects, and may only require “active surveillance” (regular checkups and close monitoring) by a healthcare team.
In active surveillance, a doctor will monitor PSA levels regularly and if the tests show a sudden peak of more than 5.5-6 (depending on his age), this could be an indication that medical therapy is required.
Standard procedures are not always the best option
Clinically established therapies such as the surgical removal of the prostate (prostatectomy) or radiation therapy oftentimes cause significant side effects, such as incontinence and impotence. Meanwhile, there are novel therapies that are not be as established at this point, but may be much more suitable. It is therefore necessary for your partner to know all treatment options to be able to decide which one is best for him.
But thankfully, as prostate cancer is a relatively slow growing cancer in most cases, there is one crucial thing to remember: You have time. We encourage you and your man to take your time when researching treatment options.
The best place to start is to talk to an expert. If you are concerned about prostate cancer and want to know more about your options, contact us.
This article which was published by the American College of Radiology, explains how Dr. Ross Schwartzberg is pioneering the use of MRI for the assessment of prostate cancer in San Diego.
The main points in the article are:
PSA is the established traditional screening method for prostate cancer. We now know that MRI provides a new and better way of assessing prostate cancer risk.
Dr. Schwartzberg explains that the use of PSA as the standard traditional screening test for prostate cancer is not very accurate and can lead to over diagnosis. In fact only 25% of men presenting with elevated PSA levels actually have cancer.
High PSA levels often lead urologists to recommend a transrectal biopsy. MRI is a far more accurate method of screening for prostate cancer because it looks at the whole prostate with the best quality imaging. “We have evidence that MRI imaging prior to standard random biopsy can identify at least 25% of men who might safely avoid unnecessary biopsies and reduce overtreatment.”
Dr. Schwartzberg set up the prostate imaging programme in San Diego. He explains that there is no certification for prostate imaging so experience is the key. He has built up his practice over time and now conducts 4-5 prostate exams per day. He recommends that radiologists shadow an existing prostate imaging programme before starting a new one and he offers to let others follow him.
Dr. Schwartzberg collaborates with several urologists in the San Diego area who refer patients to him for prostate MRI’s.
Patient care is important to Dr. Schwartzberg and he provides patients with direct access to the MRI information. He likes to sit down with patients, using MRI to get the prostate cancer diagnosis right and to identify the appropriate treatment.
Do you think you are at risk? Get in touch with us for a consultation or an MRI scan and an accurate diagnosis.
The American Cancer Society states that after skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. One out of every six men in America is at risk of developing prostate cancer by the age 50 or younger.
While these statistics are overwhelming for men, is prostate cancer also a problem for women and what do they need to know about the disease?
Do women have a prostate gland?
Women don’t have a prostate gland. However, there is a small gland or group of glands on the front side of the vagina called “Skene’s glands” or “Skene’s ducts”, whose structure and functions are very much similar to the prostate gland in males.
Cancer of the Skene’s glands is rare. According to a decade-old study, the incidence rate of Skene’s glands cancer in females is very low, i.e, it only accounts for 0.003 percent of all cancers in women. A possible symptom is long-term bleeding out of your urethra. Please contact a local oncologist immediately if you think you may have cancer.
Is prostate cancer not a women’s problem, then?
Given the prevalance of prostate cancer amongt men, it is probable that at some stage in her life a woman’s partner, father, brother or other close person in her life will be affected by the disease. It is therefore important for everyone to be educated about prostate cancer.
If you want to read more about prostate cancer, PSA levels and diagnostic and treatment options, here are some articles that could be useful:
In a relatively light-hearted interview for such a serious topic Dr. Schwartzberg talks about Prostate Cancer and outlines in clear terms some of the essential truths that most men need to understand. The key points are:
Prostate Cancer is the #1 cancer issue for men. He explains that it is so common that 80% of men in their 80’s will have some incidence of prostate cancer. However not all prostate cancers are the same. He explains that there are essentially two types:
Low risk non-aggressive cancer which is very common
High risk aggressive cancers which is less common
The key is early detection and treatment of high risk aggressive cancers and the avoidance of overtreatment of low risk non-aggressive cancer.
Men are generally advised to be screened for prostate cancer after they reach 50 but two categories of men need to be extra vigilant:
Men of African descent in the USA are 3 times more likely to contract prostate cancer than white Caucasian men. Black men also contract the more aggressive form of prostate cancer and they get it in a part of the prostate that can be difficult to find in a biopsy.
We also know that prostate cancer is extremely inheritable so men with a family history of prostate cancer ie fathers or brothers have a far higher chance of getting prostate cancer
Dr. Schwartzberg recommends that these men in the high risk categories should be screened for prostate cancer as early as 40 and certainly by 45 years of age.
However, the current screening process of PSA testing followed by a biopsy is problematic and controversial. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland. Blood tests measure your PSA levels. High PSA levels may be an indication of Prostate Cancer but in 7/10 cases men with high PSA levels do not have prostate cancer. Following the PSA test, the second stage is a biopsy. High PSA levels lead to unnecessary biopsies which themselves are not risk free and can lead to infection. The other problem with biopsies and the traditional physical examination is that they are “blind” i.e. biopsies are performed without knowing exactly where the cancer is in the prostate and the digital rectal exam is as accurate as “flipping a coin”. Therefore, prostate biopsies and the physical examination can easily miss the cancer.
The other problem with the PSA – Biopsy process is that if prostate cancer is detected it can lead to radical treatment for the low risk non-aggressive cancer which could have either gone untreated and treated far less aggressively.
The solution to the screening problem that Dr Schwartzberg recommends is the use of MRI imaging after the PSA stage and before a biopsy.
An MRI scan can tell the cancer cells from the healthy cells. It can also be used to guide the biopsy so that the lesion can be targeted accurately. Dr. Schwartzberg says that the MRI in advance of the biopsy allows the doctors “to look before they poke”.
If a patient is diagnosed with prostate cancer the traditional treatment is the removal of the prostate – called a radical prostatectomy. He explains that a similar approach was taken to treating breast cancer 100 year ago with full removal of the breast, surrounding muscle tissue etc. The prostate is positioned in a “delicate place” between the rectum and the bladder. It is a reproductive organ and therefore affects the urinary function. In the case of a prostatectomy the nerves of the surrounding areas may be damaged and this leads to the major downsides of impotence and incontinence.
Building on the accuracy and visibility of MRI scans of the prostate, Dr. Schwartzberg and his him team are performing a new type of treatment called IRE or Nanoknife. This type of treatment is known as focal therapy in that it targets the individual cancer cells without causing any damage to the surrounding tissue. This overcomes the problems of impotence and incontinence which is a major breakthrough for men. IRE or irreversible electroporation is administered with the use of electrodes. An electric current produces nanopores in the cell walls and the walls of the cancer cells crumble and die.
Dr. Schwartzberg and his colleague Dr. Cooper have partnered with Prof. Michael Stehling who is world’s leading expert in this ground breaking new treatment for prostate cancer.
Doctors and healthcare professionals (including oncology specialists, scientists, physician assistants, and others) often work together to establish a targeted treatment plan for prostate cancer taking a multidisciplinary approach. It is very important to gain adequate knowledge about the various treatments, including their goals and possible side effects, to make the right decision. A successful treatment for men with prostate cancer depends on many factors and can be one or a combination of the following treatment options.
As its name suggests, local treatment means dealing with the cancer at the site of occurrance, i.e, the prostate. It includes radical treatments like surgery and radiation therapy, but also focal therapy. However, local treatment has little or no ability to solve the problem if the disease has metastasized (spread outside the prostate gland) to other parts of the body.
Surgical removal of the tumor and some adjacent tissue is still a standard procedure to eliminate cancer. In case of prostate cancer, this is called a prostatectomy and can be categorized as follows:
Radical (open) prostatectomy
Robotic or laparoscopic prostatectomy
Potential side effects of surgical removal are permanent incontinence and erectile dysfunction, amongst others. Rehabilitation is usually necessary.
Radiation therapy is another type of local therapy. It usually consists of various numbers of therapy procedures over weeks or even months. There are various types of radiation therapies, including
Conventional external beam radiation therapy
Potential side effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer are urinary leakage, difficult or painful urination, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. Additionally, depending on the treatment plan, it is not possible to repeat the therapy in the case of a recurrent disease.
Minimally-invasive focal therapies are gaining more and more recognition, as they minimize the side-effects of radical therapies while oftentimes having the same oncological outcome. Focal therapy only destroys a portion of the prostate gland, specifically where the cancer grows, without causing harm to the other parts of the prostate or the surrounding tissue. This treatment option uses extreme cold, heat or other methods to treat prostate cancer. Amongst focal therapy methods are
This treatment option may be adviced in cases where the prostate cancer has already spread to the other parts of the body, or in very aggressive types of the disease. It includes chemotherapy, hormone deprivation therapy, and use of novel agents like immunotherapy.
The use of a chemotherapeutic agent may have the ability to destroy tumor cells throughout the body. Most of the drugs applied usually work by preventing the tumor cells from growing and dividing. Which drug or combinations of drugs your treating physician prescribes depends largely on your age and severity of the disease. In combination with other treatments, it may be a powerful tool to erradiate tumor cells throughout the body.
Chemotherapy has a long list of potential side effects. Some of the prominent ones are increased chances of infections, mouth sores, hair loss, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)
Male sex hormones called androgens play a major role in prostate cancer growth, therefore methods of lowering the circulating levels of androgens in the blood can not only help slow the tumor growth but also notably reduce troublesome symptoms, because it may reduce the actual cancer size. ADT includes the use of drugs that target testosterone (primary male androgen) and thereby limit the growth of the tumor. This process is called “medical castration”.
Potential side effects of ADT are erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and hot flashes.
So, what do levels of PSA in the screening test mean? Is it necessary to know your PSA level to maintain a healthy prostate? Here are the five things you should know about PSA:
A high level of PSA does not always indicate prostate cancer
Non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate usually results in the increased production of PSA. Some bacterial or other microbial urinary tract infections can also cause increased PSA production. Various studies demonstrate that certain forms of stress in the prostate area such as ejaculation or micro injuries caused by cycling can also cause temporary spikes in PSA levels.
If a screening test indicates higher PSA levels in your blood, your physician will want to exclude these common causes (mentioned above) by taking several PSA tests over the course of a year.
Screening is important, however, not for everyone
Detection of higher PSA levels can lead to the early detection of prostate cancer, which is usually asymptomatic, i.e. prostate cancer has few to no warning signs. Screening is most beneficial for men above the age of 50. Some men have a higher risk for prostate cancer and may therefore benefit from screening at earlier ages, such as Africans and those having a positive family history of the disease.
However, as the disease usually progresses slowly, the risks of screening tests may be greater than the benefits for men less likely to have prostate cancer. PSA screening can lead to overtreatment. There are risks and side effects from invasive procedures such as punch biopsies, anxiety caused by multiple biopsies, and complications of radical treatments like surgery or radiation therapy.
“High” is relative
A PSA level above 4 (i.e., 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood) is usually considered as high, however, there are several factors that can affect the PSA level (age, physical status etc.). This underscores the importance of evaluating the case of each patient before deciding to perform a biopsy.
While it is a broad consideration that raised PSA levels are generally indicative of prostate cancer, “normal” or “high” do not have fixed definitions. Each case needs to be individually evaluated.
A single test does not tell the whole story
One screening test is not sufficient to make a definitive diagnosis. For example, a man whose PSA levels go from 0.6 to 1.8 in a few weeks or months is of greater concern than someone who has had consistent, slightly elevated PSA level for months or years.
Men with prostate hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) usually produce more PSA. In addition to the PSA rate (rate of change in PSA levels), the amount of PSA production relative to the size of the prostate (PSA density) can help determine whether the results of the screening test are of greater concern or not. So a level of 6 in a screening test is less disturbing in someone with prostate hyperplasia than for men with a normal sized prostate.
Prostate health tips are not well-researched
So, what can be done if a man has an elevated PSA level? The first step is to understand the issue, and then to target it. Many physicians suggest a biopsy after the detection of a rising PSA. However, a standard punch biopsy is not as accurate as most people might think. It is a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. An MRI of the prostate is much more sensitive and more specific. This non-invasive imaging method can show you what your prostate looks like; without the need for any surgical procedure.
If your man has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be feeling frightened, discouraged or overwhelmed. If you are wondering how you can support your partner, the following are some things to consider.
Before choosing a treatment
Your loved one is most likely going to be under a great deal of stress after his diagnosis, which can make research even more overwhelming and exhausting for him. At this stage, it may be slightly easier for you to do most of the information gathering and reading. You can support him by streamlining the gathered information.
Two sets of ears are more reliable than one, especially in nervous situations. So you should accompany your man to all his doctor visits and prepare yourself by writing down any questions and concerns you or your partner have ahead of time.
Become his “helping hand”
Becoming a responsible helping hand to your partner will make him feel comfortable and prepared for his appointments. Volunteer yourself to be the one who keeps track of all his medical appointments and other documentation like insurance forms. It will be one less thing your loved has to worry about.
Encourage your man to join a support group
A support group may be a great source of help for your man. Attending one may make it easier for him to discuss sensitive issues and talk to other men who can understand what he is going through.
Right before treatment
Purchase necessary things your partner needs before and after the treatment, and put together a bag of these necessities. Ask your patient care manager what these items are.
Your partner may get fatigued during the course of medical treatments. It is therefore important for him to get a lot of rest. Assure him that some of the jobs or household activities that he normally does around the house will be taken care of.
Furthermore, you should pay attention to some possible side effects of each treatment option (medical, radiological or surgical) to help you learn and pick up on any warning signs.
Take care of you
Taking care of your loved one is necessary and much needed. However, you should also focus on keeping yourself physically, mentally and emotionally strong. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be there to support your partner. So make sure you have a loyal support group around you. This way, you can also discuss your personal concerns and maybe even your fears, with someone other than your loved one.