Prostate cancer can be a life-changing diagnosis, but it doesn’t have to keep you from leading a life of enjoyment.
In response to prostate cancer diagnosis, it’s critical to take a step back, take a few deep breaths, and try to approach the situation calmly and logically.
Don’t let anyone rush you. There’s ALWAYS time to evaluate the medical options and get a second opinion from another medical expert who ideally is not affiliated with the same practice as the physician who provided the initial diagnosis or treatment recommendations.
Know that watchful waiting or active surveillance can be viable options.
Acknowledge that every treatment has side effects, which typically include erectile dysfunction and/or incontinence. Understand management options and the potential impact on your quality of life.
The skill of the physician and the amount of his or her experience specific to the procedure being performed are very important in minimizing the presence and ongoing impact of side effects.
Recognize that prostate cancer affects spouses or partners, as well as family members. Their support is also very important.
Reach out for help from others who have already traveled the same path, and plan to reciprocate down the line by helping others who will be grappling with the involuntarily transition into joining the prostate cancer community. Visit Wearever’s Male Incontinence Resource Center, or call the Us TOO 800 HelpLine at 800-808-7866 for someone to talk to who understands.
Consider attending an Us TOO support group as the platform for peer interaction to learn from other prostate cancer survivors who’ve “been there and done that.”
Recognize that managing prostate cancer is a battle. Invest the time and energy necessary to empower yourself with the knowledge you’ll need to make informed choices about your path of treatment.
Develop a strategy, find the best medical team, and fight back with the support of your spouse or partner, loved ones and fellow warriors.
About Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network
Founded in 1990 by five men who had been treated for prostate cancer, Us TOO is the largest prostate cancer Education and Patient Advocacy organization in the United States, helping to empower men to make informed decisions about a prostate cancer diagnosis. With over 325 Chapters and Support Groups, Us TOO provides prostate cancer patients and their families with free, unbiased and up-to-date information, materials and peer-to-peer support so they can make informed choices on early detection, treatment options and coping with ongoing survivorship. With 24 years of success in helping prostate cancer patients, Us TOO is actively continuing to add more support groups in more places to assist the growing number of men being diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. To learn more, visit www.ustoo.org.