How You Can Help Yourself
Everyone has their own way of dealing with prostate cancer, but you may find some of the following suggestions helpful.
Find out about your cancer
Watch our animation to find out more about prostate cancer.
Depending on your results, your cancer might be treated as:
There are different treatment options for each stage of prostate cancer.
Look into your treatment options
Find out about the different treatments that you could have. Bring a list of questions to your doctor or nurse. And ask about any side effects so you know what to expect and how to manage them. This will help you decide whats right for you.
Talk to someone
Set yourself some goals
Set yourself goals and things to look forward to even if theyre just for the next few weeks or months.
Look after yourself
Take time out to look after yourself. When you feel up to it, learn some techniques to manage stress and to relax like breathing exercises or listening to music. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, talk to your doctor or nurse.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
We dont know for sure if any specific foods have an effect on prostate cancer. But eating well can help you stay a healthy weight, which may be important for men with prostate cancer. Its also good for your general health and can help you feel more in control. Certain changes to your diet may also help with some side effects of treatment. Read more about having a healthy diet.
Be as active as you can
How Common Is Prostate Cancer
About one in nine men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer affecting males. Close to 200,000 American men receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer every year. There are many successful treatments and some men dont need treatment at all. Still, approximately 33,000 men die from the disease every year.
Find The Right Doctor
My plan was to find a better doctor, stay fit and positive and see or talk to those I cared about as often as I could.
The first doctor thought my symptoms were caused by allergies so we parted company. When she saw the high PSA score , her office stopped trying to make another appointment because she knew I was pretty far gone for her kind of medicine.
Finding the right medical care lead and their staff in my stage 4 condition is as hard as finding a consistently good cup of coffee. The right blend of clarity and knowledge and the fine grind of availability, flexibility, and responsiveness is vital when choosing who will be tasked daily with saving your life.
Five months ago, I felt terrible and suggested to my doctor that I go in for a blood test for PSA and to check my testosterone levels. My first oncologist never replied despite many emails and texts. Trust me, he said, theres no way those scores are up, given the shots and chemo youve had.
The odds are a million to one that your levels are up, hed said when I asked about getting tested.
So, I got a blood test on my own, and the results revealed that both scores had spiked to life threatening levels.
When I sent over the results, the first oncologist didnt reply. This doctor ignored my condition and was closed-minded and seemed a bit insecure, so I promoted my second-opinion oncologist at a different facility to the first team. She and her team are wonderful, all things considered.
Don’t Miss: What Is Transurethral Resection Of The Prostate
What Kind Of Treatment Will I Need
There are many ways to treat prostate cancer. The main kinds of treatment are observation, active surveillance, surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemo. Sometimes more than one kind of treatment is used.
The treatment thats best for you will depend on:
- Any other health problems you might have
- The stage and grade of the cancer
- Your feelings about the need to treat the cancer
- The chance that treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
- Your feelings about the side effects that might come with treatment
What Causes Prostate Cancer
Experts arent sure why some cells in the prostate gland become cancerous . Genetics appear to play a role. For example:
- Youre two to three times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father, brother or son has the disease.
- Inherited mutated breast cancer genes and other gene mutations contribute to a small number of prostate cancers.
Just Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer
Just diagnosed with prostate cancer.I live on my own.have no relatives in the UK at all.
I have no experience in terms of prostate cancer no knowledge at all apart from Google search I have no idea about it.
I would be appreciated if anybody talks to me from here inform me about the next stage.
This week I will see a radiotherapy and a specialist nurse .have no idea which treatment will be beneficial for me.
Surgery or radiotherapy?
Please ignore my spelling errors English is not my first language.
Thank you who ever read this.
Hi Rikki and welcome to Cancer Chat.
I’m sorry about your diagnosis and that you have no family here to support you on this journey but I’m glad you’ve found our forum as you’ll find many members such as @woodworm and @telemando who have also had this diagnosis that will be able to share their experiences with you and hopefully prepare you for what’s to come.
If you’d like to speak to our cancer nurses you can give them a call on 0808 800 4040. Lines are open Monday – Friday between 9a.m – 5p.m.
I hope this helps Rikki.
How Will My Cancer Be Monitored
Your doctor will talk to you about how often you should have check-ups. At some hospitals, you may not have many appointments at the hospital itself. Instead, you may talk to your doctor or nurse over the telephone. You might hear this called self-management.
You will have regular PSA tests. This is often a useful way to check how well your treatment is working. Youll also have regular blood tests to see whether your cancer is affecting other parts of your body, such as your liver, kidneys or bones.
You might have more scans to see how your cancer is responding to treatment and whether your cancer is spreading.
Your doctor or nurse will also ask you how youre feeling and if you have any symptoms, such as pain or tiredness. This will help them understand how youre responding to treatment and how to manage any symptoms. Let them know if you have any side effects from your treatment. There are usually ways to manage these.
Also Check: What Is Metastatic Prostate Cancer
Risk Factors Of Prostate Cancer
Certain things called risk factors may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. If you are black, you have a much higher risk of developing prostate cancer. You are also more likely to develop it at a younger age. Having a strong family history of prostate cancer is also a risk factor.
We have more information about the risk factors of prostate cancer.
Related Stories & Media
You usually start by seeing your GP to have your symptoms checked. Your GP usually arranges some tests. The first tests used to diagnose prostate cancer are:
- Rectal Examination
The doctor gently inserts a gloved finger into your back passage . The rectum is close to the prostate gland so your doctor can feel for anything unusual in the prostate. A rectal examination test is quick and it should not be painful. It is also sometimes called Digital Rectal Examination .
- PSA test
The PSA test is a blood test to measure the level of prostate-specific antigen in your blood. Prostate cancer often causes a raised level of PSA. But different things such as non-cancerous prostate conditions and getting older can also increase your PSA.
If your PSA level is raised or your rectal examination is unusual your GP refers you to a specialist doctor . Your GP may test your PSA level again if it is raised but your prostate feels normal.
How Is Prostate Cancer Treated
The best treatment for your prostate cancer depends on your age, general health and the grade and stage of your cancer. Although nearly all treatments have side effects, most can be effectively managed. Ask your doctor what side-effects to expect and how best to manage these.
Active surveillance is sometimes a valid option and is a way of monitoring prostate cancer when it isnt causing symptoms or problems. This form of treatment may be suggested by your doctor if the cancer is small and slow growing and its unlikely to spread. The possible side effects of treatment such as surgery may have more impact on your life than the cancer. You will still need regular prostate tests, which may include repeated biopsies, to make sure things haven’t changed.
Watchful waiting is another way of monitoring prostate cancer in case symptoms develop or change. It involves regular prostate specific antigen tests and check ups. Watchful waiting is not as strict as active surveillance and additional biopsies are not usually needed.
Surgery involves the removal of the prostate , and sometimes the surrounding tissue. Surgery requires on average three to six days in hospital, followed by a four to six week recovery period.
Surgery is an option if you have localised prostate cancer and you are fit for surgery. Once the cancer has spread outside the prostate gland, surgery is not normally an option, however other treatments are available.
Recommended Reading: Real Health Prostate Complete Walmart
What Kind Of Doctor Should I See
Once you’re confident about your cancer diagnosis, it’s time to schedule an appointment for prostate cancer treatment. The type of doctor you will see for treatment will depend on your specific case, and they will develop a treatment plan tailored to you. At Virginia Oncology Associates, you will typically see a medical oncologist first where they will assess your condition and then refer you to a radiation oncologist as appropriate for treatment based on the stage of the cancer.
Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer Four Big Mistakes Men Are Making
Its not the news you wanted to hear from your doctorYou have prostate cancer.
Fortunately, as with 97% of men diagnosed with this cancer, it hasnt spread to other parts of your body.
Even better news: Your cancer is classified as low risk, which means your risk of dying from it over the next 15 years is less than 1%.
Now you have to decide what to do. Treatment such as surgery, hormones or radiation entails side effect risks such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. These days, in a big change in medical practice, more and more men who are newly diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer have options that entail not seeking immediate treatment.
But heres the problem: Many men make the wrong choices, according to a recent study. Heres what you need to know to make the right ones.
Read Also: Can You Really Milk A Prostate
Tissue Ablation And Focal Therapy
Tissue ablation treatments destroy the prostate cancer through freezing or heating. These treatments can be applied to all or just part of the prostate . Whereas whole gland ablation has largely fallen out of favor, focal ablation has gained popularity. The two most commonly used energy sources are as follows:
Cryosurgery kills cancer cells in the prostate by freezing them through special needles that are inserted into the gland. The needles are placed under ultrasound guidance. This method is effective in curing cancer but can’t treat lymph nodes and commonly causes erectile dysfunction if the entire prostate is treated. Urinary incontinence is a rare but possible side effect.
High-intensity focused ultrasound uses the high temperatures created by focused sound wave energy to kill cancer cells. While HIFU results over the years have been mixed, modern systems such the one used at UCSF allow real-time monitoring of tissue temperatures during treatment, improving outcomes.
Less commonly used ablation methods include interstitial laser ablation, electroporation , vascular targeted photodynamic therapy, gold nanoparticle therapy, and others under development. Focal radiation is used occasionally as well. Currently, there is little data comparing these technologies.
Ask These Key Questions About Your Cancer
The first tip is to get educated. Dr. Carroll recommends seeking multidisciplinary opinions from experienced providers.
When talking to your doctor, its a good idea to have other people in the room with you. Friends and family can create a support team thats often helpful, Carroll explains, since people hear different things and tend to ask different questions.
Dr. Canfield adds that taking notes when reviewing information on the web is also important because you are going to see so many things that may or may not apply to your specific cancer it’s so common to forget what you were going to ask the doctor.
To get started, Carroll suggests the following questions, which can help you get to the heart of your situation.
Other tools are also available to assess your disease and help predict likely outcomes of different treatments. For example, prostate cancer prediction tools, called nomograms, are available online through institutions such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Don’t Miss: Can You Have Intercourse After Prostate Removal
What To Do Next
If youre in this situation, learning that you may have cancer, youre probably more than a little upset and frightened. Thats normal. But it may help you to know that most cases of prostate cancer are treated with a high rate of success.
Learn more about prostate cancer survival rates.
It might help you to know, too, that what happens next is partly up to you. You are an active participant in your own healthcare. Theres no one-size-fits-all treatment for all men. The medical team you choose will help guide you through the next weeks and months to determine the best way to treat your prostate cancer.
The decision-making process will involve a lot of factors, including:
- The need for treatment
- Your desire to maintain your fertility
- Your desire for a certain therapy based on risks and benefits
Your Nutrition Will Be Important
While theres no specific diet for people who are dealing with prostate cancer, studies show that avoiding overly processed and high-fat foods can be good for you.
You May Also Like
Adding berries, tomatoes, and other brightly colored foods are also a good bet. Supplements can be helpful, especially when youre having a hard time eating. However, make sure to check in with your doctor because not every supplement is recommended for people with prostate cancer.
Don’t Miss: When Do You Get A Prostate Exam
Genetic And Genomic Tests For Localized Prostate Cancer
A man’s inherited genes predict his prostate cancer risk. For a long time, we have known that there is a family risk in prostate cancer. If your father or brother has prostate cancer, or your mother or sister has breast or ovarian cancer, you are at higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. To partially quantify that genetic risk, a germline test can be performed before a biopsy. This test of DNA from healthy cells can determine whether you have inherited genetic mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, known to increase prostate cancer risk. If the test shows you’re low risk, you may be able to avoid a biopsy even if you have a slightly elevated PSA, while still being actively monitored for prostate cancer.
If already diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may undergo another type of test for assessing your genetic risk. A genomic test of tissue from your biopsy or prostatectomy can look for somatic mutations, alterations in the DNA of the cancer cells themselves. Genomic tests measure expression of various genes that relate to how aggressive a cancer is likely to be. They indicate how rapidly cancer cells are growing and how genetically abnormal they are relative to normal cells.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed
A biopsy is when a small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate and looked at under a microscope.
A biopsy is a procedure that can be used to diagnose prostate cancer. A biopsy is when a small piece of tissue is removed from the prostate and looked at under a microscope to see if there are cancer cells.
A Gleason score is determined when the biopsy tissue is looked at under the microscope. If there is a cancer, the score indicates how likely it is to spread. The score ranges from 2 to 10. The lower the score, the less likely it is that the cancer will spread.
A biopsy is the main tool for diagnosing prostate cancer, but a doctor can use other tools to help make sure the biopsy is made in the right place. For example, doctors may use transrectal ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging to help guide the biopsy. With transrectal ultrasound, a probe the size of a finger is inserted into the rectum and high-energy sound waves are bounced off the prostate to create a picture of the prostate called a sonogram. MRI uses magnets and radio waves to produce images on a computer. MRI does not use any radiation.
Also Check: Can Prostate Problems Cause Groin Pain