By A diagnosis of prostate cancer is not only scary because it’s cancer, but also because of all the unknowns and implications that can follow: How bad is it? What are my options? What are the pros and cons of those options? What is best for my particular situation? What about my sexual performance? Will there be incontinence? There are even questions that will arise once you’ve completed a procedure or a course of treatment and know what you’re dealing with. It’s typical for most people, when faced with a health issue, to search the internet for information to help with decision making. However, support groups can also be a valuable source of information and provide a more personal experience.
Prostate Cancer Canada Network (PCCN) not only represents the national foundation for fundraising for prostate cancer research in Canada, but also offers the support aspect through its networks. The organization has support groups in various cities across Canada that meet monthly. At these meetings, men affected by prostate cancer ask questions about their specific situation and questions are answered by health professionals and other men that have been through similar experiences. A question often asked of prostate cancer patients is “Would you do anything different if you had to go through it again?” Many come and go as they need, but some remain for the social aspect and some even volunteer their time to contribute to something that can offer answers and peace of mind.
Prostate cancer does not have to be a scary experience, and it definitely does not have to be experienced alone. Taking a proactive approach and researching different types of treatment options as well as the types of support available can be empowering, inspiring, and practical. There is an estimation that the amount of medical information doubles approximately every five years. With the assistance of technology, we are getting closer to a cure for prostate cancer, and we are definitely getting better at the treatment and management of it. A diagnosis of prostate cancer no longer needs to be as intimidating as it used to be. With the information and resources that exist here in BC men have much better chances of a cure compared to just a few years ago. Most of the time, the information that you’re looking for is out there, you just have to know where to find it.
Dr. Caleb Ng is a licensed naturopathic physician and cofounder of the Mountainview Wellness Centre. His practice focus is in naturopathic oncology and sports medicine. For more information visit www.prostatecancer.ca.