The Biggest Misconceptions About Prostate Cancer
Last updated: September 2022
There are a lot of myths surrounding prostate cancer. Until you have gone through it, it can be hard to fully understand the challenges of this diagnosis.
To find out more, we asked our ProstateCancer.net Facebook community, “What are the biggest misconceptions you have experienced as a patient of prostate cancer?” Nearly 50 people responded. Here is what they shared.
Prostate cancer is the "good cancer"
People often believe that there are relatively good kinds of cancer to have. However, cancer is cancer. Nobody is pleased or comforted by having someone else tell them that their diagnosis could be worse. A kinder response is to offer compassion and acknowledge that any and all kinds of cancer are difficult to deal with.
“That I had the ‘good’ cancer.”
“That it is a good cancer to get! When I tell them about the treatment and the painful outcome, they soon shut up!”
Choosing radiation treatment is easy
There is no easy solution for any kind of cancer. With prostate cancer, treatment options often include radiation or surgery, both of which can have complications. After treatment, people may have unpleasant symptoms such as frequent urination, painful urination, and urination leakage.
“How much and how long the effects of radiation are.”
“My urologist told me that the outcomes from radiation and surgery are virtually identical. My general practitioner then advised me that if I opt for radiation and have a recurrence a few years later, they cannot then do surgery. But if I opt for surgery initially and get a later recurrence, they could then do radiation.”
You should be happy when treatment is over
The biggest side effects of prostate cancer treatment are the ones people may tend to avoid discussing. Because prostate cancer can change what their daily life looks like, people can feel depressed after treatment. Cancer is complicated and challenging to deal with. For some, it can be helpful to seek some kind of group support, either through the hospital or online, as a safe place to process the emotional pain.
“How the effects stay all your life. I am not getting better with dealing with depression and ED.”
Life goes back to normal after cancer
After surviving prostate cancer, many people describe their lives in two sections: before and after the cancer. In many ways, people’s lives go back to what they had been before. But in many other ways, life is forever different.
People who survive prostate cancer often have a new respect for life. Sometimes this shows up as the fear of a recurrence. Sometimes it shows up as a new will to live life to its fullest.
“That life as it was formerly known is over. My prognosis is fabulous, and yet life as I knew it is gone forever.”
We want to say thank you to everyone who shared their experience for this story. We are grateful that this community is so vocal and supportive. Thank you.
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