Where Do We Begin?
A prostate cancer diagnosis affects more than one person. As a partner, family or close friend of someone recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, it can be a stressful and confusing time for you too. When someone close to you is diagnosed with prostate cancer, the decisions they face often have an impact on you and your relationship with them. Understanding your loved one’s prostate cancer diagnosis can help you take an active role in his care, providing support and helping to determine the best management option for him.
The following are common scenarios that you and your loved one may experience upon a prostate cancer diagnosis:
- He just received his diagnosis and we are shocked and overwhelmed.
After the initial shock wears off, try to keep a level head and focus on the main goal: determining the course of care that will be right for him. You can provide a sense of comfort by learning as much as you can about prostate cancer and available management options. As his family or support network, you can be a stabilizing force, providing informed and additional perspectives. From the start, keep the lines of communication open, and don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions if something doesn’t seem right. If it’s appropriate, join him at his doctor’s appointments and help by asking questions or taking notes. Most importantly, be there as a support for him.
- He wants to get the problem “fixed” as quickly as possible, but I want to do more research to better understand our options.
He may want to rush into a treatment out of a desire to remove the cancer, thinking that there are no other options. However, this may not always be necessary. Remind him that it is important to understand his testing and treatment options before making a decision. Depending on the risk level of his prostate cancer, there may be a range of treatment options available.
Get a personalized information guide with treatment options based on your loved one’s individual diagnosis. By answering a few simple questions from the pathology report, you’ll learn about treatment options that may be appropriate for his unique cancer. Share this report with the doctor at the next appointment to help develop the appropriate management plan.