Movember – what happens next? – by Relate’s Sue Reed

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is the second largest cause of male cancer deaths in UK. Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer and over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.

The Movember campaign encourages men to be aware of the symptoms and to go for a medical check if they are concerned in any way. So what happens if a problem is identified?

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer the message is don’t panic. Many prostate cancers are slow growing and may not need surgery or other radical treatment. Your doctor or medical team can support you through the treatment options. There are many treatment options and support resources through this difficult time and on towards a normal, healthy life.

The physical and treatment options are one set of decisions, but the emotion impact will also be needed to be considered. A new diagnosed of prostate cancer can bring up a number of feelings; disbelief, fear, anger, anxiety and depression.

Prostate cancer has an emotional impact on every man living with it – and on partners, family members and friends. Before, during and after treatment, many men may need to find support for the emotional side of things. Everyone finds their own way to deal with things, but sometimes outside help can be useful.

Relate counsellors are trained to listen, help you understand your feelings and find your own answers. They have had additional training in Prostate cancer awareness and can help you talk through:

  • Changes and problems with relationships because of cancer
  • Difficulties in talking to and supporting each other
  • Problems talking to children, parents and other relatives about cancer
  • Challenges in getting “back to normal” as a couple or family when treatment is finished
  • Problems with sexuality resulting from surgery, treatment, altered body image, tiredness or anxiety.

The counselling can be for the man alone, or with the couple or with other family members including children or parents. If you have a diagnosis of prostate cancer make sure you get the support that you and your loved ones need.

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