Prostate Cancer

Living with prostate cancer

The initial diagnosis of prostate cancer was a devastating shock to most men (see 'How it affects you'). However, after the initial shock and emotional trauma, many men were able to lead fairly normal lives. Men were often able to continue working while they had their treatment, though some had to give up work when symptoms got worse, or because of stressful occupations. Fatigue, and the side effects of treatments, encouraged early retirement (see 'Side effects of treatments'). Some men took time off work to have a radical prostatectomy but returned to work once they had recovered from their surgery. Some men described continuing to enjoy many of their activities, including sports and travel. However, this was not always possible.
The diagnosis of prostate cancer made men more aware of their own mortality. Some felt that it was important for their physical and mental welfare to try to continue as normal, while other men had reappraised their lives and decided to focus on quite different priorities,. The importance of staying active and living each day to the full was mentioned by many, even if previous activities could not be maintained because more rest was needed, or if symptoms were disruptive. Many men became active in support groups, making new friends in the process (see 'Support groups'). One man, who had chosen watchful waiting, and who thought that quality of life was more important than length of life, felt a certain sense of relief that he would not have to worry so much about his pension.

Last reviewed July 2017.


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