Community Views: The Hardest Part of Prostate Cancer
About 1 out of every 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. This disease affects many each year, but nobody is alone in this ongoing fight.1
To learn more about how our community members are coping, we reached out to followers of our Facebook page. We asked them to complete the sentence: “The hardest thing about living with prostate cancer is ___________.”
Nearly 30 community members shared, and here is what was said:
Fear of recurrence
The most common answer was that the hardest part is the fear of prostate cancer coming back. This makes sense. Anyone who has prostate cancer has already had a scare and may feel like they can no longer trust their body.
A little fear is healthy. It will likely inspire you to monitor your health and see your doctor for follow-up visits. However, keep in mind that prostate cancer tends to grow slowly. Plus, you and your doctor can now stay on top of getting your PSA levels checked. If you can, spend some free time meditating or enjoying a hobby to give your mind a break from worrying.
“Fear of recurrence.”
“The never-ending fear of recurrence, even after prostatectomy.”
It is incredibly easy for the human mind to worry about worst-case scenarios. However, worry does not help anything, especially a medical condition. We often think that worrying about the future helps us stay in control and figure out what we may need to do. But the truth is that none of us has any idea what will happen when.
Worrying only causes stress, along with things like elevated heart rates and feelings of nausea. If you catch yourself worrying, a trick is to remind yourself that right now, at this moment, you are OK and healthy. You have everything you need. Repeat as needed.
“The what-ifs slowly eat you alive. You wait for bad news, all the time.”
“Waiting for the other shoe to drop!”
“Not knowing what is going to happen or when.”
Surgery, radiation, or watchful waiting – all treatments for prostate cancer will have an impact on your sex life. This looks different for everyone but may include things like a low sex drive or dry orgasms. The good news is that these symptoms can be managed. Yes, life is different, but for many men, there is a path back to a full and healthy sex life after treatment.
All of the above
A few members of the community shared that there really are no easy parts of this journey. The worry, the treatments, and the after-effects all take their toll. However, many community members also shared that their cancer responded to treatment and is in remission. No matter where you are in your journey, there is always hope ahead.
“I have yet to find anything easy in this fight.”
Thank you to everyone who shared so openly about their experiences with prostate cancer. We are grateful that this community is a safe space for people to share their concerns and find strength and support.
How much do you worry about prostate cancer coming back after treatment?