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Monday, September 28, 2015

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is in full-swing, and there is a lot to talk about. Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common type of cancer affecting men in the United States and there are more than 2 million survivors of prostate cancer across the country. Moreover, one in seven men will become diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes. Prostate health affects all men and their loved ones.

Although prostate cancer is common, it is not often discussed. Many men are hesitant about screening for prostate cancer or are unsure of what they need to know related to detecting cancer and talking with their health care team about screening. Similarly, there may be issues related to the treatment of prostate cancer that can be difficult to discuss. For instance, the side effects of prostate cancer treatment may include erectile dysfunction, incontinence and other side effects that affect a man’s identity and self-esteem.

The Cancer Support Community (CSC) recognizes that these topics are often tough to acknowledge and difficult to discuss. Therefore, CSC has developed and gathered information and resources for understanding and managing changes in intimacy and sexuality, and on coping with the emotional distress that can result from prostate cancer and its treatment. If you have questions you may also reach out to CSC’s Cancer Support Helpline at 1-888-793-9355. Our Helpline is staffed by licensed call counselors who are available to speak with you to answer your questions and direct you to resources that are available.

The Cancer Support Community also continually aims to better understand the unmet needs of cancer survivors, and has developed the Cancer Experience Registry (CER) to identify and advance the understanding of the emotional and social needs of people living with cancer and their caregivers and to give them a voice. The Registry engages those who have been impacted by cancer to answer questions about their social and emotional experiences and needs throughout their cancer journey, and regularly provides summaries of the information that is learned. The new sub-Registry, Cancer Experience Registry: Prostate Cancer, is specifically for men who have or have had prostate cancer. This Registry explores the full experience of prostate cancer and is “a chance for men who have experienced prostate cancer to give back to others going through a similar experience,” said Gwen Darien, Executive Vice President of Programs and Services at CSC. “We are eager to learn more about the unique needs of this group so that we and others can create resources tailored specifically to men with prostate cancer and their loved ones.” Caregivers are also invited to participate by joining the Cancer Experience Registry: Caregivers. To learn more about the Registry or to join, visit www.cancerexperienceregistry.org.

Additional resources:

The Prostate Health Education Network

Us Too – International Prostate Cancer Education & Support

ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer

Tags: Awareness