Men often received great support from family, friends and from members of support groups (also see Support groups). However, when men spoke to people outside the family about their prostate cancer they were sometimes met with a mixed reaction. Sometimes other people could not understand why men with cancer looked ‘normal’, expecting them to look ill. Being open about the diagnosis could make it easier for other people to discuss it, although one man recalled how his drinking friends had not let him discuss it seriously. Although some men said that people had not reacted differently because they had cancer, others said that people still found it very hard to raise the subject.
Explains that he had terrific support from good friends alongside his family.
Comments that some people are still very negative but support from others can be brilliant.
Describes how some found it surprising that he looked normal
Considers that people do not treat him differently after his openness about the cancer.
Explains that he finds it difficult to talk about cancer as it is seen as a taboo subject.
One man had a particularly bad experience because some of his friends feared that cancer was infectious. Some men preferred to keep the subject of their illness largely to themselves, only telling selected friends. It was also suggested that men in general avoid discussing problems connected with their reproductive organs due to embarrassment or due to worry about their macho image.