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Prostate Cancer: Talking to People About Your Diagnosis

About one in eight men learn that they have prostate cancer at some point in their lives. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. But after learning the news, many men find it difficult to talk about it or seek help and support during their cancer journey.

While no one really knows why prostate cancer carries the stigma and stigma, Christopher Felson, MD, assistant professor of urology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, says it Possible prostate cancer diagnosis and how side effects can affect your sex life and your manhood.

“[These] may be subjects that men are very cautious about discussing with family, friends and others, making them more sensitive. For them, from typical support It may be more difficult to get more information online,” Felson said.

the prostate is the size of a walnut A gland located just below the bladder that surrounds the urethra — the tube that carries urine out of the body. The prostate also produces and stores fluid that helps the body produce semen. But when cancer cells grow in that gland, it can “decrease sexual function and urinary control,” says Filson.

“[This] may are the toughest times, especially if they are still anxious about cancer treatment.”

Jerry Deans too Get the feeling now. It’s been more than 22 years since Deans discovered he had prostate cancer. In 1999, at the age of 55, Deans went for a physical exam on a hunch and was diagnosed.

No one he knows has prostate cancer. Deans asked his doctor if he knew anyone he could contact. As it turned out, there were several people, but none of them told anyone about their condition.

“If men are afraid of it, they won’t share it. [They] just don’t call other men and say, ‘Hey, I have prostate cancer and I’m scared To die. What do I do? They just don’t do it,” Deans said.

Contrary, trend is to look it up on the Internet. Deans said it can be overwhelming.

“It’s like drinking from a fire hose – you get overwhelmed by it all. So, you do need support from other people.”

Finding out you have prostate cancer can take a toll on your mental health and lead to:

  • Depressed
  • Anxiety
  • pressure
  • Fear
  • Uncertainty
  • Feeling of isolation

    Reduced self-worth

    for post-diagnosis , Deans underwent surgery, and doctors told him he may have overcome this forever. So, Deans said he didn’t bother to reach out to support groups.

    Unfortunately, the cancer returned about a year later.

    Deans’ levels of protein-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by prostate cells that measures cancer progression, despite radiation and chemotherapy Still climbing.

    An oncologist told Deans and his wife that his cancer had spread and that he could live with the disease for life.

    “We were very devastated,” Deans said. “It was one of the most depressing days of my life, finding out that somewhere inside me I had metastatic prostate cancer.

    on the way out of the doctor’s office , he picked up a brochure of a prostate cancer support group.

    During his first meeting, he not only met other men going through similar journeys, but also A urologist with prostate cancer. Deans was able to get a second opinion, learn coping strategies, and gain insight into someone else’s prostate cancer journey.

    Support group to become A space where he can “talk freely” about whatever is bothering him, or use it as an educational resource to learn more about his condition.

    “Cancer doesn’t care about you Whether to pay attention to it, or just forget about it and deny it. If you want to survive and live a long, healthy life, then you need to do so through information, support, education and advocacy for yourself. “Deans said.

    Prostate cancer, in addition to taking physical and emotional toll on you, can bring Physical side effects and lack of communication which can affect your relationship with your partner.

    Bob Wright, 74, was asymptomatic when he discovered he had prostate cancer in 2007. After several years of treatment, Doctors told him there was no evidence of any recurrence of the disease (NERD). But side effects left him with “serious impotence and incontinence”.

    “I still remember a poster that said Prostate Cancer is the couple’s disease. Because many men end up with impotence after prostate cancer treatment, radiation therapy or surgery, it can affect the relationship,” said Wright, from Austin, Texas.

    ” So this part is probably the most painful part that many people don’t know about. “

    Filson encourages couples to go to the doctor together, especially for the first time. Often, the partner can better communicate the reality, point out unusual symptoms, or push the man to get tested.

    Having a partner present can be especially helpful if you feel shame or embarrassment about your prostate cancer diagnosis or symptoms.

    “I try to measure the relationship and see how well the communication is going,” Felson said. “You often get subtle cues about what’s going on with the partner. Focus on their significant other not being revealing or stubborn. “

    due to female partner Often being the primary caregiver for men with prostate cancer, Filson is able to prepare them for what’s to come.

    For Vivian Conboy, 49, 55 Her husband was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, which is devastating news in 2020. But she was even more surprised to have family members with prostate cancer, but never revealed anything.

    “I’m starting to hear more about prostate cancer from locals now because my husband has it and he’s very involved in the community,” said Conboy, a New Jersey native .

    “People came out, ‘Oh yeah, I have that. Oh yes, I have this,’ but it’s very taboo. “

    Her husband still has a hard time opening up. Conboy said he tends to crack jokes in front of brothers or friends, talking about things like paying for life insurance. But she will It is attributed to a “coping mechanism”.

    As the primary caregiver, Conboy felt she was unable to talk to friends about her husband’s health or changes in his intimate life. So she sought help and advice from a local support group .

    “It helps to read other people’s stories. I’m just here to express my sympathy and it’s good to know you’re not the only one going through this. Conboy said.

    Now, she encourages her nephews and sons to get tested early and to try to stay healthy, including a healthy diet. She says this is how she gets the conversation about prostate cancer Way to normalize.

    “There’s nothing embarrassing or shameful about it.

    When Keith Hoffman’s PSA test showed slightly elevated numbers, his then-fiancé (and now wife) encouraged the 62-year-old The elderly man went to see a urologist. Fortunately for Hoffman, his prostate cancer was caught early and he was able to have surgery that same month.

    But still It took a toll on him.

    “One of the things I’ve learned on my cancer journey is that it’s very hard to deal with people who are told they have cancer,” Hoffman said It was also his wife who prompted him to contact a local support group led by Us TOO, a national prostate cancer support organization with a local chapter, for help.

    “ It gives men the opportunity to discuss every aspect of the treatment process with other men and their caregivers, not only with the obvious reassurance of doctors and professionals, but also with treatment options, techniques, or pain or things to expect that need to be identified along the way from a layman’s setting recovery time,” Hoffman said. He relied so much on the organization’s support and camaraderie that he decided to join the national organization’s board of directors.

    Hoffman and Wright met at the same local chapter in Austin, Texas. Both proved how important and “helpful” it is to ask for help, share your journey, and talk to your peers about your diagnosis value”—especially those who have experienced similar obstacles.

  • Being informed can feel empowering no matter what stage your cancer is.

    “They can feel safe, they can say something or not say anything,” Wright said. “But the magic happens after the meeting. These guys don’t want to go home. “

    Talking to others about your diagnosis can:

  • offering camaraderie and support

  • making you feel less Lonely or isolated
  • educates you and makes you feel empowered to face diagnosis and treatment
  • opens up additional resources that can provide information such as considerations for treatment, help managing side effects, advice for healthcare providers, and healthy living Ways to Tips
  • Relieve Depression and Anxiety
  • Helps you learn coping skills and get tools to cope with stress
    to provide you with a safe space to talk openly about your feelings, doubts and fears

  • If you can’t find a support group in your area, you can find many virtual support groups .a community to join and share your journey.

    In addition to support groups, you can rely on the hospital’s cancer care team. This includes a variety of healthcare professionals such as treating Doctors, social workers, palliative care specialists, and oncologists. Often, these resources are freely available. If you have questions, please consult your doctor.

    Yoga and meditation Exercise such as exercise and a consultation with a therapist can also improve your mood and help you navigate your cancer journey.

    If you are concerned about medication or treatment side effects, bladder problems and sexual dysfunction , be sure to tell your doctor. They may be able to find a better treatment option for you.



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