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If your treatment isn’t working and you’re approaching the end of your life, it may feel like a lot of things are out of your control.

But there are things you can do to help you take back control over parts of your life. Your family or friends may be able to help you with some of them.

Things you can do

1. Set yourself some small goals

These could be small things like getting dressed every day, going on a short walk or seeing a friend once a week.

2. Think about who you want to spend time with, talk to or write to

You could make a list of people you want to contact. Some men just want to spend time with their close family and friends in their final months and weeks. But there may be people you want to call or write to, perhaps people who you haven't spoken to for a while. Some men find this helps to clear their thoughts.

3. Make a list of your medicines and doses

Keeping a record of the medicines you're taking can help if you see different doctors or nurses who might not have all your medical information, or if you need to go into hospital or a hospice.

4. Talk to your GP

If you’ve got questions or worries, you can book an appointment with your GP to talk about them. It can help to write down what you want to discuss. Your GP may not be able to talk about everything in one appointment so you might want to ask for a longer appointment or visit them more than once.

5. Find out about the symptoms of MSCC

Metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC) is a very serious medical condition. It affects some men with advanced prostate cancer. If you have symptoms, it’s important to get medical advice straight away. Knowing the symptoms can help you know what to look out for. 

6. Think about where you want to be cared for 

Visit local nursing homes, residential homes or hospices to help you understand what options are available. This can help you decide where you’d like to be cared for if you ever need the care and support that these places provide. Check what local services are available if you want to be cared for at home.

7. Visit your local hospice

Hospice care isn’t just for people staying in the hospice. And it’s not just for people in their last weeks and days of life. Some hospices have cafes, activities, and services such as counselling and nursing. Most hospices are happy to tell you about the services they provide and show you around. 

8. Join our online community

Connect with other people affected by prostate cancer on our online community. Members include men with prostate cancer, their family and friends, and people who have lost a loved one to prostate cancer. Anyone can ask a question or share an experience. It’s a place to deal with prostate cancer together. 

9. Sort out practical things

You could give your family access to financial and practical information they will need in the future. For example, information about bills and outgoing payments, your life insurance details or bank account information. You may want to think about using a secure online password manager which allows you to choose someone else to get access to your usernames and passwords when you are not around.  

10. Plan time to rest

Even small things might make you feel very tired when you have advanced prostate cancer. Take things at your own pace.


Updated: July 2018 | Due for Review: May 2020


  • List of reviewers  

    • Kate Bullen, Head of School for Applied Social Science, University of Brighton, Brighton
    • Jackie Dawson, Community Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
    • Hazel Parsons, Palliative Care Nurse Specialists, Dorothy House Hospice, Winsley, Bradford on Avon
    • Elizabeth Rees, Lead Nurse for end of life care, Leeds Teaching Hospitals
    • Our Specialist Nurses
    • Our Volunteers.
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