Common thoughts and feelings
Men respond in all kinds of ways to being diagnosed and living with prostate cancer. You may feel a wide range of emotions and they might change very quickly.
- Shock, fear or anger. You could feel any or all of these things when you’re told you have prostate cancer.
- Denial. If you feel well, you may find it difficult to accept that you have prostate cancer.
- Frustration and disappointment. The way you think about yourself, your life and your plans might have changed.
- Stress. It can be difficult to decide what treatment to have and you might feel stressed.
- Worries about side effects. If you have side effects like erection, urinary and bowel problems, then coping with these could also make you feel down or worried.
- Sense of loss. Hormone therapy can cause physical changes to your body, such as putting on weight, reduced physical strength, or changes to your sex life. This might make you feel very different about your body and cause a sense of loss.
- Changing identity. Sometimes men say they feel less of a man because of their diagnosis and treatment. Some men feel that their role in the family has changed – for example, because they’ve had to stop working.
- Mood swings. Hormone therapy can make you feel emotional and down. It can also cause mood swings, such as getting tearful and then angry.
- Anxiety. Some men worry about getting their prostate specific antigen (PSA) test results. The PSA test is used to monitor your cancer if you’re not having treatment straight away or to check how successful treatment has been. Even after treatment has finished some men feel anxious and find it hard to move on and think about the future.
- Feeling alone. You might feel isolated, especially if your treatment has finished and you’re no longer seeing your doctor or nurse.
All these are very normal ways to feel. These feelings may stay with you, but some men find they gradually change with time.