Prostate Cancer Support

Communication
Emotional Support
A Network of Support at Your Fingertips
About PCCN Support Groups
Planning for the Future
For Family, Friends and Caregivers

Communication

The prostate cancer diagnosis is just the beginning of the process; you will soon be undertaking many medical tests and decisions. Now, more than ever, you need the support of family and friends.

Resist the temptation to shut people out. Talk about your feelings, fears, and any anxieties. Bottling up these emotions can put extra stress on your body.

Feelings of anger, depression, confusion, and betrayal are all perfectly normal. Working through them with another person or network of support can ease the process.

It’s also essential to educate yourself and stay updated on your condition and treatment options. The more you know, the more confident you will feel to make the right decisions about your health and future.


Emotional Support

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer may feel lonely. Try to remember that you don’t have to deal with everything on your own. In fact, your friends and family may feel isolated as well if they are not included in parts of the process.

There are many support options available to you.

  • Family and friends
  • Church and spiritual groups
  • Prostate cancer support groups and online support communities. Learning from someone else’s experiences can provide valuable insight into how to deal with your own.
  • Your doctor and specialist(s). If you feel you need additional advice or information, do not be afraid to request it.
  • Private counselling through a psychologist or social worker. Your doctor can arrange an appointment.

Go with whatever makes you feel comfortable and remember that managing your emotional health is an important part of dealing with the disease.


A Network of Support at Your Fingertips

The Prostate Cancer Canada Network (PCCN) is a national association of prostate cancer support groups that has been serving Canadian men and their families for over 15 years. The PCCN works to:

  • Help men and their families understand and cope with a prostate cancer diagnosis.
  • Provide up-to-date information and individual peer-to-peer support.
  • Provide opportunities for men and their loved ones to share their experiences and personal stories.
  • Promote the importance of early detection through local public awareness campaigns.
  • Distribute information to prostate cancer groups across the country interested in learning more about the disease.
  • Assist men in making informed decisions.
  • Advocate for increased funding for prostate cancer research, treatment and programs.
About PCCN Support Groups

The PCCN is made up of affiliated prostate cancer support groups across Canada although each group operates independently.

The support groups provide services at a grassroots level through monthly peer meetings, special educational events, outreach programs, and presentations at community events.

Group members and leaders do not give medical advice but freely share their own stories. They participate in discussions guided by medical experts, and share information about treatment options and advances. It is important to keep in mind that every person and every cancer is unique. Information obtained through other group members is useful as a guide but may not directly apply to you.

Most PCCN support groups meet monthly. Partners and family members are welcome at general meetings, but some groups choose to hold separate meetings for their loved ones. These groups encourage opportunities for sharing personal feelings and experiences, as well as dealing with burnout and other related issues as they cope with their loved one’s disease.

Wherever you live in Canada, we welcome you to join our network of people living with prostate cancer. To find a support group near you, or sign up for a newsletter, visit prostatecancer.ca or call 1-888–255-0333.


Planning for the Future
To know the options you have for treating and managing your disease, look into your health insurance plan(s) and make sure you understand them and the fine print.

Depending on the stage of your cancer, you may wish to talk to your healthcare team about preplanned healthcare directives (the type of medical treatment you want in the future if you are unable to express your wishes) and appointing a power of attorney (someone who can act on your behalf in legal or financial matters).

Please visit the Canadian Virtual Hospice websitevirtualhospice.ca for further information.


For Family, Friends, and Caregivers

Serious illness of any kind doesn’t just affect the person who has been diagnosed; it impacts the people closest to them as well. The following section includes helpful advice on coping with a loved one’s prostate cancer diagnosis.

Communicate

Communicating openly with your friend or family member lets them know that you are there for them. There may be times when they’re not ready to discuss how they feel; it is important to be patient and supportive during this time.

The best approach is to be ready and willing to lend an ear when he needs you, and to respect his privacy. Trust your gut feeling on when to bring up sensitive subjects like infertility, incontinence, and impotence. It may be helpful for you, as the caregiver or friend, to attend support group meetings with the person diagnosed. Hearing stories of others who have been through a similar experience can be informative and comforting, and may ease some of your own anxieties about the disease.

Stay Involved

You may feel helpless when a loved one is diagnosed with prostate cancer, but there are many things you can do to make things easier for them. Offer a ride to appointments, to be a second pair of ears in meetings with doctors or to keep track of medical appointments and examinations. Staying involved can reaffirm your commitment to being there for your loved one.

Educate Yourself

You will be in a better position to offer support when you have an understanding of the diagnosis and what the person you love is dealing with. Ask questions and educate yourself.

Photos top to bottom, A. Rysyk ©, PhotoSensitive, Tessa Peerless ©, PhotoSensitive, C. Kochman ©, PhotoSensitive.


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