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Prostate and Urological Health

5 Ways to Live Better With Prostate Cancer

According to a study published recently in the medical journal Cancer, more than half of people who have been diagnosed with cancer feel lonely, most likely the result of social distancing and isolation during the pandemic. 

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 248,530 new cases will be diagnosed this year alone. Currently, there are more than 3.1 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives. 

Although survival rates have improved since the 1990s, treatments often bring harsh side effects including erectile problems, hot flashes, muscle loss and urinary issues such as incontinence. 

These side effects may be short term, or they can last for years and have a big impact on a man’s quality of life. 

But the good news is there is quality support available to make that journey easier. 

Leading men’s health charity Movember has developed the True North program with help from researchers and experts around the world. True North gives men living with prostate cancer, access to evidence-based information, and helpful resources to support or assist in recovery after treatment. 

If you are living with prostate cancer, here are five ways to support your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing at this time:

1. Get moving at your pace

Keeping physically active might be the last thing on your mind when you’re exhausted from dealing with cancer and treatment. But there are excellent reasons to make it one of the first. Exercising during treatment has been shown to reduce, prevent and, in some cases, reverse the side effects of hormone therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Men with prostate cancer who regularly exercise benefit from better physical function, mental wellbeing, and overall quality of life.

2. Choose more nourishing foods

Eating well during and after prostate cancer treatment can improve your overall healthboost your recovery and help minimize treatment side-effects. 

Try to eat more vegetables, cooked tomatoes, fish, nuts and healthy fats from oils. Focus on getting more plants in your current diet and limit processed foods. Specifically, you might also consider eating less processed meat,  high-fat dairy, and sugary drinks. 

3. Manage stress and anxiety

Between diagnosis, treatment, finances, and relationships, there’s a lot that might keep you up at night. And as worries pile up, it’s normal to feel stressed out or anxious. Talk to your nurse, doctor or someone else in your care team about any concerns that you are experiencing. They can help you understand your diagnosis, treatment and side effects, and put you in touch with other people who can help.

4. Find the right support

Talking to other men with prostate cancer can be a helpful way to connect with people who understand what you’re going through. Speak to your doctor for recommendations or the check online. The Prostate Cancer Foundation has links with support groups throughout the United States. 

5. Help other men with prostate cancer

Research suggests that helping others gives us feelings of purpose and self-worth. Joining a prostate cancer registry and sharing your experience could help researchers learn more about the disease and how treatments perform in the real world. Talk to your doctor and care team to understand what registry, research, or clinical trials opportunities you may be eligible for. You can also explore opportunities on the National Institute of Health’s Clinical Trials website.

Right now, Movember is developing new digital tools that will support men after treatment, including help to improve sexual wellbeing for men with a prostate cancer and their partners. It’s in the early stages of development, so we’re looking for men to test it and give their feedback. To get involved email [email protected].

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health on a global scale. Movember addresses some of the biggest health issues faced by men: mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. True North is a critical prostate cancer initiative that is 100% funded by Movember.

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