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Refusal of Treatment/Prostate Cancer

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2011

My father in law is 88 years old and was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in January. He has just told his children of his diagnosis. He refuses treatment of any kind. He has not been back to the doctor since he was told of his diagnosis. He told his children that if he is going to die he will die on his own terms. He won't listen to his children about his options. He won't tell us who his doctor is. We are lost and don't know what to do, any suggestions!!!!

Posts: 797
Joined: Jan 2010

Do not mean to sound cold but at 88 it sounds like he knows what he is doing and that he understands quality of life…I’m 55 and had to make many hard choices...from my perspective your father in-law has lived a full life…Be happy for him and let him live life on his own terms…Best to you

Posts: 45
Joined: Apr 2010

My dad was diagnosed 10 years ago when he was almost 71 years old, now he is 80. He accepted seed implants and hormone therapy. His cancer has returned and refuses chemotherapy and also says he will stop going to doctors. He prefers quality of life then living long and feeling sick all the time. I do not know how long my father has, God only knows, perhaps he will live longer without any treatment. At the moment the only treatment he gets is hormone therapy. I have to friends that their father had prostate cancer, one of the them refused treatment died 8 years later of other ailment and the other live 25 years. The cancer is different in every person, also depends on the person attitude. Do not worry, he does what his wants. Respect his decision. Wishing the best for your father.

dakotarunner's picture
Posts: 102
Joined: Feb 2004

I was diagnosed and had surgery when I was 54. I researched the matter as mcuh as I could before making the decision as to what to do. If I had been 88, and had been diagnosed with PC, I may well have said hello to it, and went on about my business for as many years as God was going to give me. It is a tough call to make for the person with PC, and can be even tougher for the the victims family and friends. There is no "one size fits all" answer for any cancer, so I can't give one. For myself, I would just be supportive of his decision.

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

Sorry to hear about your father in law.
You have not given any of his details such as gleason score, Number of positive cores etc.
All of those factor enter into how he will do with the cancer.

They say many men wil die 'with prostate cancer' rather then from it.

Be there for him and your spouse during this time.

Larry age 56
Diagnosed age 54 and treated.

2ndBase's picture
Posts: 220
Joined: Mar 2004

Last April, at age 59, I was given the choice of hormone treatments along with chemo or the hospice program. I took the hospice program. I have no regrets about that decision and made it mostly to have a better quality of life. At 88, he is quite unlikely to die from PC, as the cancer would grow more slowly at his age. He made the right choice for him and that is all that should matter. Let him live his life on his terms, he knows what he is doing.

Kongo's picture
Posts: 1166
Joined: Mar 2010


Sorry to hear about your father-in-law but from the scanty information you posted (obviously a result of your FIL holding back information) it's impossible to tell whether or not this is a life threatening condition or not. Many, if not most, forms of prostate cancer at initial diagnosis have at least a 10 year or more life expectancy without doing anything and most treatments are not recommended if the life expectancy is less than 10 years.

Just going on statistics alone, as we seem to know little about the characteristics of your FIL's pathology, it's likely that he will eventually die with prostate cancer not of it.

As others have suggested, this decision is one your father-in-law should make and it's his decision alone. I too am in the position of caring for aging in-laws and have learned how important it is to follow their wishes.

I respect and admire his decision to "die on his own terms" and hope to follow the same philosophy when my time approaches.

I hope you and the rest of the family are able to come to terms with his decisions and to celebrate your father-in-law's long life and strong convictions. If he chooses to share more information with you then you will have a greater ability to assess the impact of his diagnosis but if not, the chances are that something other than prostate cancer will eventually take him.

Best of luck to you and your family.

RRMCJIM's picture
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

Sorry to hear of your FIL cancer diag.... But I would have prolly decided the same for myself.

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