Wellness Wednesday: Living and Coping with Prostate Cancer

WalkingCoupleFinding out that you, a friend or family member has cancer is life changing. Although, it may be helpful for you to know that according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the outlook for many people diagnosed with cancer is very good. In fact, the ACS states that more than two million men in the US count themselves as prostate cancer survivors.

June is Men’s Health Month and Mercy Health System would like to take this opportunity to provide some helpful tips for those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, for survivors and their friends and families.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), men diagnosed with prostate cancer have multiple treatment options that include active surveillance (closely following a patient’s condition), surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Your care team may recommend one or a combination of treatments.

The NCI offers the following suggestions if you, or a loved one, are undergoing treatment for prostate cancer:

  • Eat well. You may not feel like eating during or soon after treatment, your doctor, a registered dietitian or another health care provider can offer suggestions.
  • Stay active. Research shows that people with cancer have increased energy and reduced nausea and pain when they stay active. If your activity causes you pain or other problems, tell your doctor or nurse.
  • Ask questions. Look to members of your health care team to answer questions about treatment, working and other activities.
  • Seek support. Meet with a social worker, counselor, support group or member of the clergy if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns.
  • Follow up. Make and keep appointments for follow-up care after treatment. Checkups help ensure that any changes in your health are noted and treated, if needed. If you have any health problems between checkups, contact your doctor.

Speaking of doctor visits, having a Primary Care Physician (PCP) who can coordinate your care is vital to your good health. If you don’t have a PCP, visit your insurance carrier’s website, look for the “find a doctor” area and follow the instructions.

When you’re being treated for a disease or condition and a complication arises, it may not always be easy to decide where to go for care. For anything that could indicate a life-threatening situation (like chest pain, major injuries or sudden and severe pain) it’s best to go to the emergency room. For less severe matters that still require immediate attention, if you can’t get in to see your PCP, you can save time and money by going to an urgent care facility.

To find a Mercy Health physician, go to www.mercyhealth.org/find-a-doctor.

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