Dealing with prostate cancer can be difficult. There is a lot to take in and deal with. It’s normal to find yourself feeling anxious, with all the changes you may be experiencing.
You might like to know what support is around. To help, we've gathered trusted resources and services that can help you access the information and support you need.
If you are still working, it's also worth finding out what services might be available through Employee Assistance Programs within your organisations. These services often offer financial and mental health support to employees.
Please continue to follow any specific advice recommended by your healthcare team.
A prostate cancer support group is a safe place for people affected by prostate cancer to come together to help one another manage challenges they face, share ideas and resources, hear from others with similar experiences, and engage in a range of activities as chosen by members of the group. Each group is an independent community group run by volunteers, and can meet in-person or online.
They are generally attended by men with prostate cancer but can often also include partners, spouses, caregivers and even health professionals who may present information relating to prostate cancer care. Depending on where you live, targeted support groups may also be available such as for different cultural or language background, carers and partners, younger men, and gay, bisexual or transgender people. Support groups can meet in-person or online.
Talking to other people who've had a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be a helpful way to connect with those who understand what you’re going through, and you may feel less alone. The groups can provide a safe, non-judgemental and caring environment to discuss issues of concern, and be a valuable source of support and advice for partners, carers and family members as well.
There are also online support communities. Here, through discussion forums, blogs and groups dedicated to single topics or interest areas, you can share experiences and gain insight into how others are coping and thriving.
If you prefer more privacy, you can look for closed online support groups, individual counselling or one-on-one peer support.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA)
Nurses with expertise in cancer (and prostate cancer specifically) can provide advice in managing your care and help with accessing products, support services and support groups in your area.
You can access a Prostate Cancer Specialist nurse in the hospital where you are being treated, by contacting them directly or through your doctor or care team. If this is not possible, Cancer Council nurses in your State or Territory can help to find the care you need, as well as support and information for carers and family.
Health Direct is a government funded service providing quality, approved health information and advice. In addition to a 24-hour support line, there is an online directory to locate local health services including GPs, emergency departments, psychologists, or counselling.
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Knowing where to find toilets when you’re out can ease your mind as leaks and the urgency to use the toilet can happen at any time. Using the right continence products can also help you feel more comfortable and confident during your daytime activities and through the night.
If the stress and worry around your prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment are getting you down, it can help to share your worries and concerns with close family and friends, your doctor or care team. You can also seek help from a counsellor near you or access confidential telephone, email or online support from trained professionals.
Treatment for prostate cancer can bring changes in your sexual function, but this is not the end of your sex life or experiencing intimacy with a partner. Some problems are temporary and in other cases, the right information and support can help you explore new ways of experiencing sexual pleasure and intimacy.
Talk to your doctor or care team about what to expect, and consider getting help from a sexual health counsellor or sex therapist.
A prostate cancer diagnosis can put pressure on your finances as you deal with loss of work, accessing treatment, travel and accommodation if you are living in rural or regional areas, and juggle the extra costs of managing some of your treatment side effects, like buying continence products.
Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are important ways to keep your prostate cancer in check, reduce side effects of treatment and help you recover faster. In addition to improved physical fitness, a healthy lifestyle can greatly help your mental wellbeing.
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