When you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your world stops, and the questions start. What do I do next? Where do I go? Who Talks to me about all this? Who will be my support team? The emotional toll associated with prostate cancer can be much more difficult than anyone expects.
Be Honest With Your Doctor
The diagnosis of this disease may be scary. It’s important to communicate openly with your doctors and care team throughout your treatment journey. Your doctors want to hear what you have to say and are able to best help you if they know how you are feeling.
Be honest with your doctor about how you’re feeling, even if it’s emotionally difficult or embarrassing to talk about. In addition to communicating with your doctor, it’s also helpful to share how you feel with those closest to you – family members and friends who can support you through treatment. Reach out to loved ones, so they understand what you’re going through. Let them know what kind of support you need from them.
Be Proactive About Treatment Options
As soon as you’ve been diagnosed, it’s time to start researching all your treatment options. Ask your doctor or urologist for names and contact information for other doctors or specialists who can treat cancer. You can then begin consulting them about your different treatment options before agreeing on one path forward.
Counseling can help you cope with the emotional impact of cancer and its treatment on yourself, as well as on your family and loved ones. Ask your doctor whether counseling or other mental health services are available through your health plan. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a mental health professional who specializes in treating men with cancer.
Share your feelings with others going through similar experiences. If possible, join a group that’s in person rather than online. It’s good to be able to connect with people face to face and know that someone is nearby if you need help or just want a hug. Hospitals often know of local cancer support groups, and the American Cancer Society has information on support groups in your area.
The emotional toll of cancer can be difficult to navigate, but it’s not something that should be ignored. It’s important to know what comes next in the process, and a little planning can go a long way. As a result, it might be wise to consult with a professional counselor who can help provide some guidance through everything.