Once treatment for prostate cancer is over, it can be overwhelming to navigate many of the issues that prostate cancer survivors face. You may find yourself asking: Will I ever feel like my old self? What foods should I eat? What type of exercise is best and how much should I do? Does the treatment put me at risk for other health issues? Will my sex life ever get better? These are just some of the type of questions that men and their partners have once treatment is complete.
Prostate cancer is the leading cancer for men in the US and has generally been considered a disease of the Western world, particularly in North America and Europe. With the spread of the western lifestyle, prostate cancer is becoming a prevalent health burden in developing countries as well.
There are several health effects that men treated for prostate cancer may be at risk for as well. These include fatigue, impotence and incontinence, bone loss, heart disease and digestive issues, just to name a few. Sometimes the anxiety over worrying about the cancer returning can get out of control. These are significant issues that can negatively affect a man’s quality of life and can have an enormous impact on his partner and their relationship.
The sexual side effects can be especially difficult for a man and his partner. It is important to remember that survivors don’t have to settle. Survivors need to know that there are options that can improve these symptoms and feel safe discussing these issues with their health care providers as well as their partners.
The period after a cancer diagnosis can be a time of transformation because survivors often are motivated to make changes that they may have been thinking about for a long time, and never really got around to doing. It is critical for prostate survivors to learn about the important influence of lifestyle on prostate cancer.
Dr. Dean Ornish’s research on prostate cancer has proven that following a healthy lifestyle can reverse early stage prostate cancer and heart disease. Lifestyle changes also impact quality of life. When you feel better, you want to keep exercising and eating well. It’s never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
At Survivorship Partners, we believe it is essential to have an integrated survivorship consultation after prostate cancer treatment. So whether you are newly finished with treatment or many years out, contact us and come in for an appointment where we can help you achieve optimal health after cancer.