Getting Support

With all the tests and treatments your social life may have dwindled, and keeping up with friends and extended family may always be the first point on your agenda. Keeping a reasonably busy social life, however, can do wonders for your general morale and is a recognised anti-aging method!

Indeed, many men diagnosed with prostate cancer say that they have found a new energy in their social life. Some may have discovered patient organisations that have helped them learn about the disease and its consequences, and allowed them to engage in conversations with others in a similar situation. Others may have joined a new club or association where nobody knows about their illness.

“Meeting a group of patients is very good support. Our association ‘We TOO’ allows us to talk among ourselves and ask the doctors questions. You must be informed regularly, by several sources, to change your attitude and the way you look at things. Too many patients are unaware of its existence, you should not be left alone, it’s good to talk with people who have been there, who have had the treatments. We tackle all issues, including the psychological ones.” Josef, aged 80

The Value Of Group Activities

Biking, hiking or walking in a group can "help you to forget the disease." Indeed, when exercising alone or in pairs, you may tend to experience the programme as rehabilitation or a direct result of the cancer, whereas in a group it becomes a leisure activity, and part of your everyday life. You can choose a club or a group not related to the disease or the programme, but be careful not to impose inappropriate demands on yourself.

Keep Informed

Most patients have consulted the Internet to learn more about their disease at some point. There are good general cancer or prostate-cancer specific sites where basic information is reliable and understandable. Always check the source of where the information comes from, however, and choose official sites and from recognised media, rather than commercial sites and anonymous blogs. If the results of your research worry you, or you would like to understand more about what you have found, talk to your doctor or nursing team.

Patient Forums And Associations

Patient forums and associations are essentially places of expression and exchange. You can be a silent reader, or you can engage and share your experiences and views. Some precautions are necessary. Firstly, your case is unique; do not draw conclusions from the situations of others, whose case is also unique. Secondly, beware of those ‘very informed’ patients who issue unfounded diagnoses or opinions about others’ treatment. Finally, a too attentive attendance of these forums can be depressing or stressful. Take good care of yourself.

Below are links to European and International patient organisations that provide good information and support for all those affected by prostate cancer, including patients, their families and carers.

 

Europa Uomo – The European Prostate Cancer Coalition

US Too International

Prostate Cancer UK

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