Prostate cancer is a man's disease by its very nature, annually affecting hundreds of thousands of men in the United States. But as anyone whose husband, partner, father, brother or son has battled prostate cancer knows - loved ones also need an outlet to release stress during this challenging time.
At Chesapeake Urology, we understand that support for our patients' families is critical. If someone close to you has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, it's important that you have the resources you need to cope and to be the supportive presence your partner needs.
We recommend the following tips:
Learn all you can about prostate cancer
Knowledge can be incredibly empowering. Go online and do some research about prostate cancer. If you understand the diagnosis and the treatment options, you may have an easier time on this journey. Visit our About Prostate Cancer section to learn more about the disease.
Seek outside support from people who've been there
Make connections with other people who have had a family member who battled cancer. There are support groups out there that bring partners of survivors together. It can be a big relief just to know that you're not alone. Plus, other people who have been through it can be a great source of information and emotional support.
Chesapeake Urology offers two outlets for people whose family members are undergoing treatment-our Women for Women support group, and our Wives Network. Call 443-738-8107 for information.
Use the diagnosis as an opportunity to become closer
Family members often find that a prostate cancer diagnosis brings them closer to the person who was diagnosed. They realize how valuable their time together is, and they find that the shared support makes them stronger and more ready to face the future.
Many people also turn to their faith during this time and find that prayer gives them the strength they need to be there for their husbands or partners.
Know your medical history and get preventive care
Having a family history of prostate cancer makes men much more likely to be diagnosed themselves. In fact, their chances of getting prostate cancer are 1 in 3 if their father or brother has the disease. Get more prostate cancer facts.
Family can play a major role in catching prostate cancer in the early stages. Encourage your loved one to get prostate cancer screenings-starting at age 40 if there's no family history, and at age 35 if there is.