Prostate Awareness Month: Resources and Overview
About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. So, it’s pretty common, but that doesn’t make it any less serious or scary.
There’s good news though. The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer is greater than 99%. Early detection is key. In fact, many men diagnosed early can undergo “active surveillance,” which involves close monitoring, but does not require aggressive treatment.
Arm yourself with the knowledge and resources to help you navigate this challenging time and make the best choices for you.
Prostate Cancer Resource #1: Your Oncologist
Your doctor is the head of your healthcare team – they’re the expert in charge of providing your treatment options and helping you make informed healthcare decisions. So, if you can’t trust them, who can you trust?
Be sure you choose an experienced oncologist who listens to your concerns, answers your questions, and makes you feel comfortable with your health plan.
Prostate Cancer Resource #2: The Internet
Remember, the internet doesn’t know you or your full medical history, so it can never replace medical advice from your healthcare team.
But knowledge is power, and the internet is full of wonderful information to help you learn about prostate cancer and navigate your journey. Make sure you only trust information from credible sources, like nonprofit or government organizations, or healthcare professionals.
As a rule of thumb, look for websites ending in .org or .gov – they’re usually pretty reliable. Check out these websites run by credible nonprofit and government organizations.
- The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is a world leader in research for cancer prevention and survival. They deliver the latest research updates, treatment tips, and tons of healthy recipes to fuel your body in its fight against cancer.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a well-known public health organization. They provide basic information about prostate cancer, statistics, and health tips.
- The Prostate Cancer Foundation offers a wealth of information about prostate cancer – diagnosis, staging, treatment options, and more. This organization also provides resources to help you find a doctor, treatment center, or financial assistance.
- The American Cancer Society’s mission is to free the world from cancer. They’ve got tons of information about prostate cancer, as well as resources for cancer patients and survivors to manage their health at all stages of their journey.
- ZERO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending prostate cancer. They help advance research and provide education and support for those impacted by prostate cancer.
Blogs can be a great resource, but make sure they’re written by a healthcare professional or a trustworthy organization. Here are a couple of great options:
- Theralogix publishes informative blogs about prostate health for those living with prostate cancer (and their support systems). Each blog is written and reviewed by the Theralogix team of registered dietitians, providing evidence-based tips and tricks you can trust.
- The AICR blog hosts the latest cancer research and news, as well as trending topics about cancer and nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle habits. It’s a great blog to read for reliable, up-to-date, cancer-related information.
Some people living with prostate cancer write blogs to detail their own experiences – these can be helpful, too. But, make sure you check with your healthcare provider before adopting any advice from these types of blogs in your own life.
The internet stretches your community far beyond your own neighborhood, city, or even state. Social media has helped connect people all over the world. Search for prostate cancer groups on Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit to help you expand your online community, share your journey, and connect with others who may share similar experiences.
Remember, this isn’t a replacement for medical advice. But, it can be helpful to seek encouragement from other prostate cancer warriors and gain new perspectives.
Prostate Cancer Resource #3: Support Groups
Like online communities, prostate cancer support groups can connect with other men living with prostate cancer. Support groups can help you better understand prostate cancer and treatment, improve your coping skills, and give you a space to talk openly and honestly about your experiences.
Ask your doctor about in-person support groups in your area. If you’d rather receive support from the comfort of your own home, there are plenty of established online support groups to meet your needs. Support groups may be facilitated by other men living with prostate cancer, a counselor, or a healthcare provider.
- US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Groups
- CancerCare Prostate Cancer Support Group
- Prostate Cancer Foundation Support Groups
Prostate Cancer Resource #4: Awareness Events
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Keep an eye out for events in your area that help raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. Participating in these events is a great way to get you, your partner, and your family and friends involved.
Can’t find any events in your community? That’s okay. The Prostate Cancer Foundation hosts an online “Eat It to Beat It” challenge, which encourages participants to eat 30 healthy foods in 30 days. Learn more about this challenge and how you can join here.
Receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming. But your healthcare team and support system are in your corner, ready to help you fight, and these resources are your weapons. You’re strong, and now you’re equipped for any challenge that comes your way.