Living With Prostate Cancer – Diagnosis During and After Treatment

Picture this: you’ve been having this disturbing burning sensation when you urinate, and your wife complained that your sounds are more like pain than pleasure during ejaculation. So you go in for a medical check as she suggests, and WHAM! The doctor hits you with a disturbing supposition: “Looks like it might be prostate cancer!”

The nightmare begins from right then, even before the diagnosis is confirmed by biopsy. By the time the specialist comes back in from the pathology lab, you aren’t quite yourself anymore, almost blue from holding your breath. He confirms it anyway, and your world comes crashing down? or so you fear. But does it really? Of course not, especially thanks to the many treatments that now exist for the condition and the good prognosis that lots of people keep getting these days, especially for those whose cancers haven’t metastasized dangerously to other parts of the body.

The best prostate cancer treatments can ‘cure’ the condition if the disease was caught in the early stages, and you have the chance of living the next ten years of your life totally prostate cancer free. With quick and effective hormonal therapy, you could stop the progression and metastasis of the cancerous tumor and cause it to shrink. Should you need surgery, a laparoscopic prostatectomy could do it all within a couple of days. Even a stage II prostate cancer can be remedied with some radiation therapy, sometimes combined with chemo or immunotherapy.

However, therein all the pleasantness ends. You knew it already, from the very moment you even first thought that you might have prostate cancer, that your life would never be the same, and that the lives of your family and loved ones would be inexorably altered, and perhaps not for the better. For starters, you are not ignorant of the disease; you know that up to thirty thousand men die of prostate cancer in the United States every year, and it could very well be your turn. There are after all those weird crazy cases in which despite the best care, the disease never seems to go away, and the mutated cells just continue to multiply even more rapidly? but that is rare enough.

You don’t even have to develop metastatic prostate cancer for the complications to come: most of the treatment measures for the condition have some severe and unpleasant side effects that are difficult to deal with at best. Because of the location of the prostate, it is likely that you may not be able to get an erection again after the treatment. You might still be able to achieve ejaculation and even become sexually aroused, but the nerves and blood vessels surrounding your penis could be damaged.

Living with prostate cancer is definitely a bit of a challenge, but it is totally doable, especially if you were linked to other people like yourself who are facing a life of such challenges. The US TOO International, Inc. Prostate Cancer Education and Support is a website, maintained by prostate cancer survivors in the United States, and open to members from all over the world. They offer a newsletter, a glossary, information about treatments and clinical trials, an online support group, and other resources to people who need it. You can also have a chat with spouses of men diagnosed with prostate cancer if you so desire. So, the truth really is that it’s not over just because you are living with prostate cancer!

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