Men who receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer may find they are scared, angry, or depressed. The good news is that prostate cancer is very treatable. Even though each man copes with the diagnosis in his own way, there are some common feelings and concerns that many men may feel after diagnosis. Some may include:
Not Wanting to Talk about the Diagnosis
You may feel uncomfortable talking about your diagnosis. But it’s important to realize that it also affects those people closet to you. Prostate cancer is very common. Talking about it with your partner and family will help you and your loved ones deal with managing the disease. Together you can learn about your cancer diagnosis, the risks and benefits of treatments, and how they may affect your life.
Not Being Honest with Your Doctor
Some men are embarrassed or feel guilty for ignoring signs of prostate cancer. Or they may feel guilty about not seeing their health care provider because they don’t want a prostate exam. Be honest with yourself and your health care provider and form a partnership. It’s normal to get a second opinion and research all types of treatment options. Health care providers know that it’s normal to get a second opinion to confirm a diagnosis or to talk about treatment options.
Feeling a Threat to Your Sexuality
The prostate gland is part of a man’s sexual function. Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can cause upset, such as feeling like less of a man and many men worry about sexual performance. It’s good to keep in mind that the effect on sexual function varies. Treatment options make a difference. You can help ease your fears by talking with your health care provider about ways to minimize sexual changes after treatment.
Being Afraid to Ask for Help
It’s normal to feel helpless or alone when you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer. But you’re far from alone. Consider going to a support group. You will find many other men who have been in the same situation. You may also want to bring your partner or a friend as a support person. Ask your health care provider where the prostate cancer support groups are in your area.
Also, speak to your doctor about other support services that may be best for you.
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