You are not alone. Almost two hundred thousand men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States, every year, but only 31,000 men die from prostate cancer each year. Rarely does any man die within the first few years of his diagnosis, no matter what, if any, treatment, he has chosen. You now have thousands of new brothers. We’ve all been biopsied. We’ve all heard some doctor say, “You have prostate cancer.” And we’ve all gotten a little or more confused about the variety of treatments available to us. Truth is, around prostate cancer, you are a mirror of each of us.
Malecare has been active since 1997. We’re here for you. Every one of us heard our diagnosis and spent our first days and weeks fretting about it. Hearing a cancer diagnosis changes your life. If it didn’t make you feel that way, you would not be human. And being human is good.
Being human, and, being a man, means taking charge…finding out as much about your disease as you can comfortably digest.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed, been affected by a loved one’s diagnosis, or need more information to help you understand prostate cancer, use this website as your main resource, as often as you need. Here you’ll find the latest on diagnosis and treatment, risk factors and screening, and a host of other topics—including complementary therapies, quality medical care, and life after treatment. You’ll find hints and lists of questions that other men and their families have written, from their own experiences. You’ll also find lots pf the usual educational materials, interactive tools, and support groups.
And, feel encouraged to contact us with any questions. There are lots of us volunteering with Malecare to help. Some are even Doctors and other clinicians who are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
So, ready? This is the start of what you need to know.
First: Make no decisions until you are comfortably informed about your situation. … read at least some of the patient and doctor written articles about prostate cancer symptoms, treatment and causes on malecare.org.
Prostate cancer tends to be progress slowly. There is usually no need for urgency. But make no mistake…some men do die from cancer. It is vital to take time to understand what you can do to save your life.
GET A SECOND OPINION ON YOUR BIOPSY!!!
Pathologists are human and often interpret the same biopsy samples with different opinions. Some lab’s even make mistakes. Please send your slides out for a second opinion. Here is a link to how and where to send out your slides. http://malecare.org/second-opinion-on-biopsy-slides/
Second: Ask questions about your cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment. Answers about cancer won’t find you, you have to ask. Please don’t assume that your doctor will tell you everything that you need to know. There are lists of questions for you to ask about cancer in this website.
Prostate Cancer treatment may extend your life, but might also cause collateral damage or side effects, such as incontinence or impotence. Even the best treatment choice may have consequences you probably won’t like.
The prostate is surrounded by the nerves controlling erections and lies close to the bladder and bowel, so there are significant risks of damage during treatment to sexual potency, continence (ability to control urine retention) and bowel function. Learn about the difference between cancer cure and cancer treatment.
Third: Speak with other guys at a prostate cancer support group. Hear our stories. Put your natural fears into a better perspective. Cancer treatments, symptoms, diagnosis, and causes can be confusing…we are here to help.
Most men expect their doctor to recommend whatever treatment they need. They are surprised and anxious when the doctor discusses several possible treatments and says the patient has to decide for himself which one to choose.
Think about speaking with a urologist, a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist before making any decision about treatment, to get a balanced picture of the benefits and drawbacks of all the cancer treatment options available to you.
Millions of men are diagnosed with cancer… there is a lot you can learn from us.