The phrase “he suffers in silence” is the perfect description of most prostate cancer patients. According to noted urologist Dr. Arnold Melman, most men are hesitant to ask questions about their prostate cancer treatment, and many do not include their wife or mate or other family members as they navigate the disease. The truth is, many patients are unaware of how their life may change after treatment.
Help and guidance for prostate cancer survivors
Dr. Melman, who is chair of the department of urology at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, offers help and guidance to the patient and his family in his new book, After Prostate Cancer: A What-Comes-Next Guide to a Safe and Informed Recovery. “Above all, ask questions and take time to decide which treatment is best for you,” he adds.
Tips to share with your mate about surviving prostate cancer
If your spouse, mate or family member has just received a diagnosis of prostate cancer, share these important tips with him so you can go through it together.
Involve your loved ones
Bring a loved one to every appointment so you can go through this together.
Try to do some reading about the disease before you go to the meeting with your doctor. This is a good time to start doing your own research with books or by going online to:
- Learn about the options for treatment.
- Know the implications of your PSA.
- Know the implications of the extent of your disease at biopsy.
- Be prepared to ask your urologist about his experience managing prostate cancer.
- Learn about the different types of surgery.
- Learn about the different types of radiation.
- Learn about watchful waiting.
- Learn about the possible complications from each treatment.
- Learn about treatment options for those complications.
Reflect and do more reading
After that meeting, take a break for a few weeks to collect your thoughts. Continue to learn more about the disease, treatment options and how to cope with the diagnosis and treatments.
Rely on others for support
Talk to loved ones about your fears and discuss the questions you might have.
Work closely with your doctor
Discuss your medical health with your family doctor to help decide on choice of treatment.
Remember that you are unique
Do not rely solely on other people who had the disease to help you decide on therapy. Their disease and individual problems may not be equivalent your situation.