Overcoming your fears of prostate cancer
When it comes to a prostate cancer diagnosis, feelings of fear, uncertainty and anxiety are normal. However, often the true battle is not with the cancer but with fear itself; prostate cancer is not only curable, the survival rate for early stage prostate cancer is nearly 100%. There are also many treatment options and hope at every stage of prostate cancer.
Men diagnosed with prostate cancer may experience heightened levels of fear and anxiety at certain points along the journey, such as going for a PSA test or biopsy, waiting for results, receiving a positive result, making treatment decisions, going through treatment, and going for post-treatment follow-up tests. Each of these moments is usually associated with a fair amount of uncertainty – but once you have the facts, you can eliminate undue fears and take a level-headed next step.
Upon diagnosis, it is crucial to stay calm and avoid making rash decisions on treatment. Give yourself time to come to terms with the diagnosis and the potential impact it can have on your life. Give your body time to heal from the biopsy and remember that prostate cancer tends to advance slowly – which means it is unlikely to grow much, if at all, over the coming few weeks. So, take a deep breath and clear your mind of dark thoughts.
Arm yourself with knowledge
Many fears are rooted in uncertainty stemming from a lack of knowledge. Start by establishing what you are dealing with and don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Know the type and stage of your prostate cancer and educate yourself on the various stages, treatment options, prognosis and potential side-effects. Here4You provides reliable information, support and hope at every stage of prostate cancer.
Find a support group
Your loved ones may not always be able to provide the level of comfort and encouragement you need, so consider discussing your fears with prostate cancer survivors who have been on a similar journey. You can also find a support group or counsellor to share, with outside of the family structure.
Share the good news
Thanks to regular screenings, prostate cancer can be detected in the early stages of the disease. Encourage your friends and family members between the age of 40 and 70 to go for annual check-ups and if there is a family history of prostate cancer, to start screenings from the age of 35.
Here4You is a portal of information and real-life experiences around prostate cancer, to provide hope and support for those living with the disease, as well as loved ones and family.