Living With Prostate Cancer | Prostate Cancer Diagnosis
How To Deal With Prostate Cancer | Prostate Cancer What Now
Prostate cancer is a significant problem in aging men and one of the most common forms of cancer. No one particularly knows what causes it, where it comes from or why. However, with statistics pointing out that 1 in 5 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by their 85th birthday it is becoming an increasing concern. With an estimated 18 thousand men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in Australia in 2016 it accounts for roughly 25% of all male cancer diagnosis. Prostate cancer is caused as a result abnormal cells multiplying on the prostate. These abnormal cells reproduce slowly and can spread throughout adjoining areas quite over a period of time. Whilst it is a slow disease if left untreated and unnoticed it can be life threatening. Deaths relating to prostate surgery are low in comparison to others, yet still alarming. Of the 18,000 people diagnosed just over 3 thousand of them will succumb to the cancer.
The two primary risk factors when it comes to developing prostate cancer are in age, and family history. The risk of developing prostate cancer by the age of 75 are 1 in 7. Which increases to 1 in 5 by ones 85th birthday. Secondly, if there is a history of prostate cancer within the family, the odds that you will also develop prostate cancer are significantly higher than others. Further factors include genetics, diet and lifestyle with research demonstrating that highly processed food diets can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
As you age, you should get your prostate checked with increasing frequency and there are two ways that this is done. Firstly with a blood test known as a PSA blood test. A Prostate Specific Antigen test determines if there has been an increase in a specific type of protein which usually indicates the presence of prostate cancer – however other prostate illnesses can also increase a spike in this particular protein so whilst it does indicate an issue with the prostate gland itself, it doesn’t necessarily indicate cancer. Secondly, a doctor can perform a digital rectal exam also known as a DRE. This is the exam which involves the doctor inserting a finger to feel the prostate. However, even if there are no abnormalities it does not rule out the presence of cancer. There is no one definitive technique to determine the presence of cancer and thus requires multiple tests and a combination of those results.
If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, then it is quite common to feel down for a while after your diagnosis. Many people are unsure about prostate cancer, and simply lump it in the mix with other forms of cancers without necessarily completely understanding what prostate cancer is, and how it will affect their lives. It is important not to place an unnecessary and undue burden of pressure onto your primary carer, whether that be your partner, neighbor or friend. For this reason there are many support groups for people that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and this will help you in terms of coming to terms with dealing with it, as well as put you in a situation and group with other people who are, or have been through a similar situation. It is common knowledge that men do not necessarily like to talk about these things, and support groups are a men’s only kind of club which provides an avenue for people to talk about what they’re going through to others who will understand.
As a carer, there are usually a range of emotions that will occur including but not limited to fear, anger and frustration, loneliness and stress. This can be as a result of feeling as if you’re not in control, uncertainty about the future, a change to levels of intimacy, the extra responsibility you have to endure as a result of being a carer, and having plans being changed due to illness. Going through a significant event such as this, it is common to feel all of the above, especially in terms of frustration at not having the levels of information you require or where doctors may keep you out of the loop. To combat these feelings it is important that you do the following and ensure that you are in the best position to be the carer that someone needs;
– Read up, ask questions, and generally become informed as to prostate cancer and in particular treatment options and side effects.
– As with any medical advice, there may be times when you feel that a second opinion is warranted and you’ll need to be mindful of this.
– Not drown yourself with extra duties and burdens and ensure that you’re looking after yourself as well.
Prostate cancer, or indeed any form of cancer, can be a damaging aspect to any relationship or person. It must be stated that there may be reduced intimacy within a sexual relationship and the relationship might become strained or challenging. It is important to ensure that avenues of communication are kept up to date, even when that communication becomes strained and difficult. It will be difficult for all involved, and will require patience and understanding from all.