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, and more. But you are not alone. In 2021, almost 250,000 U.S. men will be 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. PCF has several private, moderated support groups on Facebook for different interests.
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.
There are several national organizations that can connect you with groups in your area.