Some men say being diagnosed with prostate cancer changes the way they think and feel about life. If you are dealing with prostate cancer you might feel scared, worried, stressed, helpless or even angry.
At times, lots of men affected by prostate cancer get these kinds of thoughts and feelings. But there’s no right way to think and feel, and everyone reacts in their own way.
There are things you can do to help yourself and people who can help. Families can also find this a difficult time and they may need support too. This section might also be helpful for them.
How can I help myself?
Everyone has their own way of dealing with prostate cancer, but you may find some of the following suggestions helpful.
- Find out about your treatment, so you know what to expect and what your options are.
- Find out about the side effects of your treatment, so you know what to expect, and how you can try to manage them. Read our interactive guides for tips on managing side effects.
- Be active as you can. Physical activity such as gentle walking can improve your mood.
- Think about what you eat and drink. Some men find they manage better by aiming for a healthy, balanced diet.
- Share what you’re thinking – find someone you can talk to. It could be someone close, or someone trained to listen, like a counsellor or your medical team.
- Take time out to look after yourself. When you feel up to it, learn some techniques to manage stress and to relax – like listening to music or breathing exercises.
- Set yourself goals and things to look forward to.
- Find more strategies in our booklet, Living with and after prostate cancer: A guide to physical, emotional and practical issues
- Our interactive guides show you how to manage some of the symptoms of prostate cancer and side effects of treatment.
- Get more ideas about how to look after yourself from local cancer support centres as well as Macmillan Cancer Support, Maggie’s Centres and Look Good Feel Better
Who can help?
Your medical team
It could be useful to speak to your nurse, doctor, GP or someone else in your medical team. They can help you understand your diagnosis, treatment and side effects, listen to your concerns, and put you in touch with other people who can help.
Our Specialist Nurses
Our Specialist Nurses can answer your questions and explain your diagnosis and treatment options. They’ve got time to listen, in confidence, to any concerns you or those close to you have.
Counsellors and psychotherapists help people to talk about their feelings, think about their choices or their behaviour and make positive changes in their lives. This could include things like learning to accept that you have cancer and to take each day as it comes. Many hospitals have counsellors or psychologists who specialise in helping people with cancer – ask your doctor or nurse at the hospital if this is available.
Your GP may also refer you to a counsellor or therapist, or you can see a private counsellor or therapist. To find out more contact the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Talk to someone who's been there
It can sometimes help to talk to other men living with prostate cancer. All the services below are free of charge.
- Our one-to-one support service is a chance to speak to someone who’s been there and understands what you’re going through. They can share their experiences and listen to yours. You can discuss whatever’s important to you. Our Specialist Nurses will try to match you with someone with similar experiences.
- Our online community is a place to talk about whatever's on your mind – your questions, your ups and your downs. Anyone can ask a question or share an experience.
- At local support groups men get together to share their experiences of living with prostate cancer. You can ask questions, share worries and know that someone understands what you’re going through. Some groups have been set up by local health professionals, others by men themselves. Many also welcome partners, friends and relatives.
Updated: December 2018 | Due for Review: December 2021