We understand, there is a life before you found out you had cancer and life after you received your diagnosis. The new life brings with it uncertainty, fear, anger, sadness, etc. But you are not alone. Each year over 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Even with so many people, you don’t know who to talk to; who to listen to, or what your future will hold. You are scared, unsure, alone. Your family and friends may be wonderful, loving, and supportive, but chances are they have not faced what you are facing. They mean well… they just don’t know.
A prostate cancer diagnosis can be terrifying and alienating. Thankfully, there is somewhere to turn for help for both you and your caregiver: support groups.
Support groups are a community of people with a similar diagnosis or challenge who gather together to share knowledge, encouragement, and emotional comfort.
These groups come in many shapes and sizes. Some are large online communities with many people to answer your questions. Some are sometimes facilitated by a mental health professional, a person diagnosed with an illness, the family of someone diagnosed, or a medical expert in the specific field. They can be held in person, online, or by phone. You may want to check out a few groups to find one that you are comfortable in.
Why should I join a prostate cancer support group? Because you could:
- Gain instant camaraderie and support. You will have someone to talk to and feel less alone.
- Become empowered to face your diagnosis and your treatment. The other participants may have suggestions about dealing with side effects, or suggestions for resources and providers.
- Feel a reduction in depression and anxiety. Emotional support is essential to surviving and thriving with prostate cancer.
- Learn coping skills and gain the tools necessary to deal with stress and to better adjust to your changing situation.
- Talk openly about your feelings and fears. It’s no secret that men often find it difficult to express themselves – a situation amplified when sexual issues are a topic of conversation. A support group provides a safe environment to share.
Interested in finding a support group for yourself or a loved one?
Smart Patients is an online community where patients and caregivers learn from each other.
On-line group with questions and answers from people who have prostate cancer.
Additional Support Groups or Sites
There are a number of support groups for prostate cancer patients and their families or caregivers. If you do not find one near you on the sites listed below, try contacting your local hospitals and treatment centers. They often have support groups or know of others in your community.
Us TOO International
Us TOO International is a grassroots, non-profit prostate cancer education and network of over 325 support group chapters worldwide, providing men and their families with free information, materials and peer-to-peer support.
Support group chapters:
Us TOO Inspire online community:
YANA – You Are Not Alone Now Prostate Cancer Support Site
Malecare is the largest all volunteer grassroots, non-profit men’s cancer support and advocacy nonprofit in the United states. Malecare is unique in providing support groups focused on men presenting with advanced disease and for gay and bisexual men.
Malecare online community:
Malecare moderated email discussion lists:
Malecare doctor to patient advice:
Imerman Angels partners a person fighting cancer with someone who has beaten the same type of cancer.
Cancer Hope Network
Matches cancer patients one-on-one with someone who has recovered from a similar experience.
The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative – 4th Angel Program
Free, national service which provides a one-to-one supportive relationship (phone or email based) to cancer patients and their caregivers.
Frank Talk Online Discussion Forums
Discussion forums devoted to the topic of erectile dysfunction.
DailyStrength Prostate Cancer Support Group
CancerCompass Prostate Cancer Discussions
Treatment Diaries is a social network for those living with illness, newly diagnosed or caring for someone with a medical condition.