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Prostate Cancer

Messages to others about prostate cancer

Men encouraged others to go to consult their GPs if they had any of the symptoms associated with prostate cancer, even though many of these symptoms are more likely to be associated with other less serious problems. When prostate cancer is diagnosed several men said that it was important to talk to family as well as doctors to get as much information as possible about conventional and complementary treatments. Some emphasised the importance of not being rushed into a decision since many cancers are very slow growing.
 

Advises that the PSA test is extremely worthwhile.

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Advises that the PSA test is extremely worthwhile.

Age at interview: 71
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 69
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Oh have it [a PSA test] by all means and then go through with the procedures because no matter how embarrassing or painful or otherwise it is eventually you must realise that this is a life threatening situation and you know it's worthwhile I think pursuing this, earlier rather than later because timing is of the essence. I mean left too late then the medical profession can't do anything for you but caught early enough and in time there's every hope that you can deal with the problem. 

For more information on PSA testing the pros and cons see the Healthtalkonline - The PSA test for prostate cancer.
 

Stresses how important it is to get support from the GP and family.

Stresses how important it is to get support from the GP and family.

Age at interview: 70
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 67
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I think if a man has any doubt at all he should go and see the GP, that's his first point of contact. He can't diagnose himself, he can't feel any lumps so it's got to be via the GP. There is absolutely nothing to fear in terms of pain, even if it's a radical prostatectomy and the people who I've spoken to they all say the same thing. You've got some discomfort, you have after any operation, any surgical operation so there's nothing to fear, go and see the GP. In terms of life, if impotency is something that concerns you again I would say it doesn't come into the equation as far as living is concerned there are other things to do, other things that you can enjoy, go out for meals, play sport, see your grandchildren growing up, all these things are just as valuable. The, the one thing you will need is support from your partner, that is essential. I think looking around the support group I see evidence that couples tend to become closer together when they're confronted with a disease like this, but again unfortunately there's evidence that some female partners can't cope with the situation, again it's probably a natural reaction. So I don't know what other advice to give. Certainly I personally cope by keeping myself occupied but I'm fortunate in that that's always been my nature. I find it very difficult to sit, in fact you've been very lucky to get me to sit here for an hour (laughs), I tend to be up and moving around and doing something. 

 

Stresses the importance of a positive attitude.

Stresses the importance of a positive attitude.

Age at interview: 65
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 59
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I think a positive attitude to the disease is essential, it's so easy just to sit back and give up and think well I've got cancer, I'm going to die and that's it. If you think I've got cancer and I'm not going to die I'm going to fight it I think that's the way that you can beat it, so I think as I say a positive attitude and do everything you possibly can to help yourself, inform yourself as much as you possibly can so that you know what the best options are for you and do it that way. 

 

Advises people to get as much advice and information as they can.

Advises people to get as much advice and information as they can.

Age at interview: 57
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 56
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Is there anything you'd like to tell other people, other men who've just been diagnosed, have you got any message for them?

Well I think, I think if you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer then the important thing is to..., well first of all it's a shock, it's bound to be a shock but once you've sort of got over the shock you know keep your head and collect information, ask questions, talk to people you know anybody that you feel comfortable with talking to, whether they're in your family or outside. If you're at all unsure about what the doctor is telling you ask him more questions or her and if you're still not happy go and ask for a second opinion and you know recognise that the chances are that it's a slow growing cancer and that there are treatments and there's also the option of just seeing how things go. 

 

Suggests that others should consider all types of treatment carefully.

Suggests that others should consider all types of treatment carefully.

Age at interview: 59
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 59
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The only thing that I would say is that anybody having prostate cancer should consider every aspect of treatment. I wouldn't go for the first thing that was offered, in other words if your oncologist advises you to have one [treatment] I would certainly try and speak to somebody else, not change your mind or his mind just to settle your own mind that what you're doing is giving you [the best chance of a cure].

Yes I don't think, I don't think you should take the first option because this is something which is going to affect the rest of your life so you need to have, you need to have fairly quick treatment because obviously in certain cases it progresses at a rate which is uncomfortable so you need to have quick treatment. But delaying the treatment to get the right treatment is probably more important than going in and having the first treatment that's offered to you. I believe you should make sure that you know what's being done to your body. If you're going to be more comfortable with a certain treatment then go for it, take all the advise you can, you do have to apply yourself to learn as much about it as soon as possible but to give yourself the best chance of recovery you should ensure that the treatment you have is something you're comfortable with. 

'Don't panic' was one message. There are several different treatments as well as the option of watchful waiting and men advised that it is important to reach one's own decision because the suitability of a particular treatment differs from person to person. Some of those who had chosen surgery considered that the operation was not something that should cause alarm. More general advice was to avoid damaging behaviour such as smoking and stress and to remain active and positive. Some men suggested that there could even be a positive side to being diagnosed if it helps a man to reassess what is really important in life. Some mentioned the importance of raising awareness of prostate cancer and campaigning for more research funding.
 

Explains there are positive reasons for facing the prostate cancer rather than living in ignorance.

Explains there are positive reasons for facing the prostate cancer rather than living in ignorance.

Age at interview: 63
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 56
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I suppose the thing is to meet it square on, accept the fact that there will be as many bonuses in meeting it and dealing with it as there will pitfalls of having to meet it and deal with it. From a life point of view it certainly changed my attitude and changed my outlook on life, for the better as far as I feel because things were very important to me, for all the wrong reasons years ago, are less significant these days, and the things that perhaps were less significant for me are very, very important, that's your family and the ability to say yes I'm still here, I'm still here to take part in whatever life is. 

 

Advises people to set goals and keep fighting.

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Advises people to set goals and keep fighting.

Age at interview: 69
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 63
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Don't give up, just fight it and keep fighting it. I set myself goals. The first thing I wanted to see was my wife's 70th birthday, she's older than me, now I want to see mine which is next year and then I shall set myself another goal. I set myself yearly, annual goals trying to achieve, which is fine. And one other thing, I've got a mountain bike which is quite fun and I cycle around on that, not too far, I suppose the most miles I've done is about 10 but that's good, it's good fun. 
 

 

Explains why it is so important to increase awareness.

Explains why it is so important to increase awareness.

Age at interview: 70
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 69
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I'm very anxious to do my bit in promoting awareness and also to promote awareness of the fact that the research funding is so totally inadequate when you think of the number of deaths. I think that the number of deaths should draw an appropriate amount of research money towards it. I mean it's '4.7 million to breast cancer and it's so much less for prostate cancer. They need to be aware that its gong to be the number 1 killer of men in the not too distant future, as is lung cancer is going to be the number 1 killer of women not too far from now because of the huge number of women that smoke. So it's, my job is to increase awareness. 



Last reviewed July 2017.
Last updated October 2011
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