“I was very shocked when my doctor diagnosed me with prostate cancer. I told my wife, ‘I have just a few days left. I should get my will prepared.’ Maybe I took it hard because it had the word ‘cancer’ in it. Later, I realized that my fear of the disease was worse than the disease itself. My doctor told me to stay strong and that the cancer is in the early stages and can be treated.” Karan Kandhare, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August 2015 at the age of 49 believes that taking his doctor’s advice might actually have saved his life.
Life goes on after a prostate cancer diagnosis, often for a very long time than you may think. If your prostate cancer diagnosis is new, you might have one question going round and round in your head “What do I do now?” You may not even be sure what you feel or how to express it. That’s normal. This is how everyone reacts when they hear they have cancer. But what’s important is: How you take the next few steps after your diagnosis.
Here’s a roadmap to guide you through this journey, or just the first, and the most important part of it:
Ask These Necessary Questions About your Cancer
The term ‘Prostate cancer’ represents an entire set of diseases. Not all prostate cancers are the same. So educate yourself. Knowing where you stand, and the next steps you can take can come a long way in fighting this disease.
To get started, we suggest asking these two questions to help you understand your situation better:
How Belligerent is My Cancer?
Or ‘How aggressive is my cancer?” In most cases, prostate cancer grows slowly, which gives you enough time to figure out everything about this new development in your life. Talk with your doctor and get a complete grasp of what needs to be done right now and what can wait.
Do I need to Undergo Additional Tests?
With the development in medical technology, prostate cancer diagnostic tests and procedures are getting more sophisticated and accurate at finding exactly where the cancer is and what’s the stage of cancer. Ask your doctor and they’ll tell you what tests you need to undergo.
Consider All of your Treatment Alternatives
Between 20 to 40 percent of prostate cancer found in men grow slowly or not at all and can be considered not harmful enough to need treatment. The patients and their doctors usually decide to settle on an approach called ‘active surveillance’ and keep a close watch on the growth of the cancer through tests and biopsies instead of surgery, chemo, or radiation. This could be a really good choice if your cancer has not spread, you are older, and your cancer is not of the aggressive type.
But if you are not comfortable with ‘doing nothing’ about your condition, talk with your doctor about moving ahead with the treatment they suggest for preventing the growth and spread of the cancer in the future.
Find A Doctor You Are Comfortable With
Take your time and find a doctor, most likely a urologist, you are comfortable with. Believe us, you’ll be seeing this person more than you’d think. Work with your primary doctor and find a doctor that is a specialist in prostate cancer, talk with them on the phone or in person and make sure they’re the right fit for you. Even if everything goes south, your doctor should be there to care for you properly.
Adopt all Healthy Habits
You can live with prostate cancer for a long time and staying healthy plays an important role.
Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Manage stress and get enough rest.
Be Open to Long-Term Monitoring
It’s true, men bottle up their feelings inside and it’s bad. You will find a heavy burden lifted from your shoulders once you finally talk about your condition with someone who cares about you. Your partner, your oldest child, your brothers and sisters, your friends and relatives, don’t be shy or afraid to lean on them for support.
If you are not yet ready to face your near and dear ones, you can try talking to support groups with men who are going through the same thing as you. There are many people out there to help and understand you, you are not lonely in this battle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prostate Cancer
1. What are the 5 early symptoms of prostate cancer?
These are the potential symptoms of prostate cancer:
Blood in the urine and semen.
- Erectile dysfunction.
Losing weight rapidly.
Bone and joint pain.
2. What is the best thing to do when you have prostate cancer?
We can guide you, but we can’t give you professional medical advice as per your case. If you have any doubts or queries regarding prostate cancer, consult your doctor.
3.How soon after diagnosis of prostate cancer does treatment start?
How soon your treatment starts will depend on how early you get the diagnosis done and the severity of your symptoms.
4. What is better radiation or prostate removal?
Radiation may be the better choice as it has fewer side effects, but you should always have a proper talk with a doctor before going ahead with any treatment.
5. What is the most accurate test for prostate cancer?
MRI fusion biopsy combines pictures from an MRI scan and an ultrasound to create a 3-D image of the prostate. Currently, it is the best test to detect and ascertain the growth of your cancer.
6. What is the life expectancy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer survival rates are some of the best numbers you’ll ever see! The 5-year survival rate of prostate cancer is nearly 100%, that’s everyone! The 15-year survival rate is 96% which is a lot too! So, don’t you worry or despair.