There are many different types of prostate cancer support available but each patient will select the options that are most effective for him. Some types of support involve connecting with other prostate cancer patients and survivors or with family and friends. The patient may also consider lifestyle and dietary changes that will decrease stress and improve overall health. Education about the disease and its treatment options can be empowering for patients. The most effective type of prostate cancer support depends on the emotions a patient experiences after a diagnosis.
Every patient responds differently to a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Possible emotions include fear, anxiety, anger, disbelief and even depression. The most appropriate prostate cancer support will speak to the particular feelings and needs of a patient.
Many patients find it empowering to take control of their health by learning enough about prostate cancer to be able to make treatment decisions. Knowing what the available options are as well as their risks and benefits provides a sense of control and allows the patient to support himself to an extent. A medical professional can recommend reliable sources of information.
Connecting with other patients is often an effective type of prostate cancer support because participants have undergone similar experiences. Family and friends may not be able to understand as well as another patient can. If it is impossible to attend a support group in the community, there are online support groups, chat rooms and discussion boards where patients can find advice and encouragement.
Organizations like the American Cancer Society may offer additional support services such as speakers and expert panels. Patients can participate in a one-on-one visit with a prostate cancer survivor or contribute to a newsletter. There may also be volunteer opportunities with outreach groups who work with high-risk groups or health care providers.
Some of the most important forms of support can come from family members and friends. They may not understand everything a patient may be going through, but they can provide comfort and assistance. Small tasks and chores may be difficult during treatment and family and friends can help. They can also listen during overwhelming moments of stress and emotion.
Self-help and support during treatment can be a source of motivation and empowerment for patients. Eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and exercising most days can keep the body strong. Getting enough sleep will help keep energy levels high.
Alternative therapies can also provide prostate cancer support as outlets for stress and anxiety. Some therapies require special instruction such as dance or movement therapy, meditation and art therapy. Guided imagery, muscle relaxation and music therapy are other possible options. Others, like exercise or spirituality, can generally be done on one’s own.
Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent types in men. Symptoms usually do not manifest in the early stages but can include trouble urinating, bloody urine or semen and discomfort in the pelvic area. A person experiencing these symptoms can discuss the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening with his medical care provider.