Men respond in all kinds of ways to living with prostate cancer and it’s all very personal. But these feelings of anger, sadness and losing hope don’t have to last forever. You can get through the ups and downs, one step at a time.
What’s normal to be feeling
after your prostate cancer diagnosis?
Everyone’s different, but you may experience a wide range of feelings, including:
shock and anger
feeling like a burden on others
How cancer can affect emotional health
In this moment, there can be a variety of things that cause emotional upheaval:
Sense of loss
Physical changes to your body, such as putting on weight, losing physical strength, or changes to your sex life could make you feel differently about yourself.
Diminished sense of manhood
Some men say a prostate cancer diagnosis or treatment makes them feel less of a man. Other times, men feel their role in the family has changed—for example, they’ve had to stop working.
Some treatments, like hormone therapy, can make you feel a wide range of emotions in a short amount of time. This can mean getting teary-eyed one moment and extremely angry the next.
Taking ActionEveryone has their own way of dealing with prostate cancer. Here are ways you can take action:
Learn as much as possible about your prostate cancer treatment. Find out how your doctor plans to treat your cancer—including potential side effects—so you know your options and what to expect.
Be as active as you can. Even gentle walking can improve your mood.
Think about what you eat and drink. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can give you an energy boost.
Take care of yourself. When you feel up to it, learn some techniques to manage stress and relax, like listening to music, yoga or breathing exercises.
Join a cancer support group. Your healthcare provider may be able to connect you to a local support group.
Focus on other things too. Set fun goals and things to look forward to.
Who can help you get better?
Counselors are trained to listen and can help you to find your own ways to deal with things. Many hospitals have counselors or psychologists who specialize in helping people with cancer — ask your care team at the hospital if this is available or if they know of services in the community you can access at low or no cost to you. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a counselor, or you can seek out a private counselor yourself.
Your medical team
Talk to your nurse, doctor or someone else in your care team. They can help you understand your prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment, and side effects, listen to your concerns and put you in touch with other people who can help. They can also help you understand what services are covered by your insurance plan.