Prostate Cancer Survivors: What Advice Would You Give the Newly Diagnosed?
The best advice about prostate cancer from the men & families who’ve already gone through it.
Recently, we asked the members of our private Prostate Cancer Survivors Facebook group what advice they would give to those who had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The response by the members of this group, and from some of their support/caregivers, was overwhelming and covered a variety of topics including education, prostate cancer treatments, support and how to live life with prostate cancer.
One of the first and foremost pieces of advice that respondents offered was: don’t panic!
Elizabeth: “Breathe. Do not make panic-based decisions”
Alan: “STAY CALM, DON’T PANIC”
…And to continue to stay strong in the face of a prostate cancer diagnosis
Warren: “You’re at the beginning of a journey, time to become a warrior! Prepare to battle with as much information and support you can get!”
Many other prostate cancer survivors offered up a lot of specific advice on making sure that you find the best and most up-to-date prostate cancer research and information available to educate yourself. This includes finding the right prostate cancer doctor(s):
Kevin: “Educate yourself!”
Christo: “Do your own research. There are many options. Find a strong support structure in friends and family. Ppl [sic] who love you unconditionally. Find coping mechanisms for the dark days. They sure do come… we all are different. Love yourself unconditionally….”
Dan: “Consider all your options. Research, research, research!”
Mary: “Learn so u can about your own personal situation and never ever be afraid to ask questions of anything is bothering u as knowledge is power. Good luck to each and every one of u take care xx”
Doug: “Talk to your doctor/surgeon! Find out your options.”
Kathy: “Don’t take the diagnosis of the C monster as a death sentence. The stages are used to help the physicians determine a specific line of treatment(s). The information you read about when you do your research will show prognosis for different stages. The prognosis given is a general prognosis-determined by stats. That’s all. Each c monster diagnosis is unique-not a “One size fits all.” Do not panic. Educate yourselves using reputable web sites, others who have traveled a similia journey, and having questions to ask your oncologist. Research your oncologist before agreeing to see them-so you can feel a good, trusting relationship to their suggestions. Having the information so you can make an informed decision about your treatment and care is of the upmost importance-notice I said YOU make the decisions, NOT your doctor. Stay positive. Hope this helps.”
Mark: “Educate yourself IMMEDIATELY. Consume knowledge on your cancer.”
Mahlon: “Do your research, and be your own advocate! Don’t do anything you don’t want to. You can never ask too many questions.”
Harvey: “Investigate all possibilities. Don’t panic. Meet with urologists, oncologists and personal physicians. That will allow you time to make an informed decision based on your lifestyle. Educate yourself on possible side effects from whatever therapy you choose. Stay positive.”
…and the finding the right prostate cancer treatments and to ask if it’s the RIGHT prostate cancer treatment for your diagnosis…
Ken: “Think hard about what you will do I opted for surgery”
Al: “Take time to make informed decisions based on research, multiple discussions with your doctors, and always asking ‘why?’ when you get advice or opinion.”
Tom: “Trust your Doctors and never give in, it can be beat.”
Mike: “Get to a major hospital facility specializing in cancer. Meet with urologist, radiation oncologist, and medical oncologist. Research online, read all of the studies you can, and weigh all options with the doctors.”
…Because everyone’s fight with prostate cancer is different:
Kenneth: “Take the best advice you can afford from the best Prostate consultants. Everyone’s prostate cancer is different, so you need individual best advice. Good luck”
Mary: “Take a deep breath, research every option, ask questions, don’t be shy about 2nd or even 3rd opinions & come to realize everyone’s battle is their own, for there are no 2 Exactly alike…AND yet fight this evil disease with everything you got!!!”
Another often shared piece of advice for those who have been newly diagnosed with prostate cancer is to find others who have had a recent prostate cancer diagnosis, and join them for support:
Jeff: “Find other men who have actually been through it, and ask them personally to share their experience.”
Stewart: “Read all you can and talk to patients”
Stein: “Don’t freak out and get a team of doctors you trust. Make certain to take someone to your appointments because you won’t hear it All or remember it all. If you have a good team they will take care of you but you have a lot to learn and it won’t happen all at once.”
Additionally, there was some advice to all the amazingly supportive family, friends and other supportive caregivers to men with prostate cancer:
Nancy: “Support your spouse/ significant other in whatever they choose to do”
Bob: “Research, write down every question. My wife was my advocate. Tell your friends and associates. You’ll be surprised with the number of fellow PC members that are out there. Use Facebook to connect with your friends for support”
With all the changes in prostate cancer treatments and care developed by the Prostate Cancer Foundation in the last 25 years, the best advice was simply straightforward, coming from Mike S and Leonardo B:
Mike: “Live your life – puts everything else in perspective”
Leonardo: “Live your life to the fullest”
Thank you to everyone who took part in answering and sharing advice to us. With over 13 million men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1 in 9 who will be diagnosed, there are many men out there who could really benefit from sharing support and advice. Let’s help them and tell them there is help and support from those who have already been through it.