9 November 2014

This new programme aims to enhance the physical and psychosocial wellbeing and quality of life for prostate cancer survivors. Find out how.

The Movember Prostate Cancer Psycho-Educative Programme
Psycho-educative programme
The Prostate Cancer Psychosocial Education Programme was developed by the Irish Cancer Society for prostate cancer survivors. The six session programme aims to enhance the physical and psychosocial wellbeing and quality of life for prostate cancer survivors by identifying and responding to supportive care needs, developing healthy coping strategies and managing lifestyle changes.

This is a unique programme that aims to improve the lives of men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Throughout the programme care, advice and support is given to each man through group and one-on-one counselling sessions. It's a chance for nurses and healthcare practitioners to improve the experience of prostate cancer treatment by dealing with the often difficult emotional and psychological effects of prostate cancer.
The programme provides opportunities for participants to share their experiences and concerns, increase their understanding of the prostate cancer experience and its consequences, explore their attitudes towards prostate cancer and develop their skills in coping with and surviving prostate cancer. The programme is currently being developed with a Facilitator Training element in order for cancer support centres nationwide to be able to provide this service.

Below are some of the issues that are discussed and covered by The Irish Cancer Society.

Urinary problems and prostate cancer treatment

You may have some problems with controlling or passing urine as a result of certain treatments for prostate cancer like surgery, brachytherapy or external beam radiation.

Urinary problems may last from a few weeks to a number of months after the treatment has finished, and for some men a much longer length of time. 

See the Treatments for prostate cancer section for more detailed information on the specific urinary problemp that might occur for each type of prostate cancer treatment and how to manage them.
You can speak with your doctor or nurse if you are having problems passing urine. The range of treatments may include pelvic floor exorcises, bladder retraining, medications and sometimes surgery.
If you would like to read further information about urinary problems  you can download our factsheet Urinary Symptoms, Catheters and Prostate Cancer Treatment, (pdf 567 KB) or call the National Cancer Helpline on 1800 200 700 to request a copy or speak confidentially with a specialist cancer nurse.
- See more at: http://www.cancer.ie/cancer-information/prostate-cancer/living-with#Sexua

How can I take care of my mental wellbeing?
Talk to someone close
It can help to talk through your concerns if you have a partner or family. They too are affected by what is happening to you. Talking through things together can bring you closer at a time when you might be all be feeling worried. 
Share your concerns with a health professional
It can help to share your concerns with your doctor or nurse. They can also refer you to other professionals who will help you find ways to cope in a supported way, if you need them. You could ask to be referred to a psycho-oncology service, if one is available in the hospital you are attending. These specialise in dealing with how you feel about your cancer and how you can live well with cancer.
Visit a community cancer support centre
Local, community-based cancer support centres give you the opportunity to meet others, join groups, receive complementary therapies and/or arrange a ‘one-to-one’ appointment with a professional counsellor. Contact the National Cancer Helpline on 1800 200 700 for advice on finding a group near you.
Join structured educational and support programmes
Some cancer support centres run specific men’s cancer support groups or prostate cancer educational support groups where you can meet other men to learn more and share experiences about treating and living with prostate cancer. For information on your nearest cancer support centre click here
Speak with a volunteer 
Some men find it helpful to speak one-to-one with another man who has gone through a diagnosis of prostate cancer. 
For example, Survivors Supporting Survivors is a programme set up to help and support people who have recently had a cancer diagnosis. It involves personal phone contact between you and a Survivors
Supporting Survivors volunteer, who has had treatment for prostate cancer. Carefully selected and fully trained volunteers are available to provide support and reassurance at a time when you are most in need of both A referral to a Survivors Supporting Survivors volunteer can be arranged for you by calling the National Cancer Helpline on 1800 200 700 or visiting a Daffodil Centre.
Use stress management techniques
Some therapies available in many cancer support centres like relaxation therapy, meditation or yoga might help you to cope and feel supported and to develop skills to help you cope with the stress. 
Write things down
It can often help to keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts may help you to identify what it is that you are feeling. If your head feels cluttered with too many thoughts, writing things down may help to clear it so you feel less overwhelmed.
Take regular exercise
Exercise isn’t just good for your body – it can also help your mind. Chemical hormones called endorphins are released during exercise. These help to lift your mood and help you to feel better able to cope. As well as the mental benefits, exercise may help you to feel less tired and keep your heart and lungs healthy and your bones strong. Exercise may also reduce the risk of your prostate cancer coming back.
Feel the feeling
Recognise in yourself that you may experience different feelings at different times and that this is normal. Try not to worry if you do feel sad or afraid at times. Remember that these feelings are normal and that they usually pass after a time. Identify your inner strengths by thinking about ways you have coped with life’s challenges in the past and try to use these to help yourself cope now. 
Recognise when you need further help 
Most men experience some level of emotional distress (feelings of shock, fear, sadness, anger) when initially diagnosed with prostate cancer and at various times during and after treatment.  Feelings of distress can be more intense at certain times, such as while you are waiting for test results or before your hospital visits.  Some men report that the period after treatment ends can be a difficult time, as you might feel more isolated or start to experience the impact of possible side-effects. 
Most men adjust to living with a prostate cancer diagnosis and learn how to deal with its emotional effects. However, if you are experiencing persistent distress with feelings of anxiety, low mood or possibly depression which is having an impact upon your daily life and relationships you should inform your urology doctor, prostate nurse or your GP. 
Feeling low all the time, losing motivation, isolating yourself and losing the ability to enjoy life may indicate the onset of depression.  Depression can have an impact on all aspects of your life so it is important to seek the appropriate help as soon as you can. 
Once depression has been identified there are many effective treatments that can help, such as talking therapies and medication.
If you are finding it hard to understand or to talk to others about how you might be feeling at the moment it might be helpful to read these two books: Emotional Effects of Cancer, (pdf 600KB) and Who Can Ever Understand? (pdf, 500KB).
If you have any questions or concerns about your cancer diagnosis or if you would like more information about  where you can get further support from a cancer support centre, call the National Cancer Helpline on 1800 200 700 and talk to one of our specialist nurses confidentially. You can also visit a Daffodil Centre if there is one in the hospital you are attending. Click here to find your nearest Daffodil Centre.

The Movember Foundation is proud to be supporting men who live with prostate cancer and making a difference in their treatment process.