A Prostate Cancer Diagnosis is not an immediate 'death sentence'! No man expects to be given a Prostate Cancer diagnosis. It's always a shock to hear the words 'you have cancer' for both patients and families The Initial diagnosis and your Prostate Cancer Journey will create highly stressful times. One of the biggest struggles for patients and families is dealing with the unknown. This book is compiled to provide information for patients and caregivers as they make decisions throughout their PC Journey. You are not alone. When I was diagnosed, there was immediate shock, worry, and confusion. I had no knowledge regarding the world of Prostate Cancer. I was clueless and had no idea what a PC diagnosis would mean for my future. A Prostate Cancer diagnosis is common for men, as 1 out of 9 men receive a positive prostate diagnosis during their lifetime. Prostate Cancer is almost as common as Breast Cancer, which affects 1 in 8 women. But Prostate Cancer gets far less press coverage! In the past, being told a person had cancer was considered an immediate death sentence. But due to the advancements of cancer medicine, there are multiple 'prostate cancer treatment options' that allow millions of men to live long, productive lives. One of my doctors even called cancer a 'chronic disease', in that if the first treatment(s) chosen didn't work, they would just try another option.
The Prostate Cancer Journey can be as mentally and physically taxing for caregivers as it is for patients. Patients cannot do it alone. I wish there were definitive answers for the many questions and decision’s a patient and caregiver needs answered. No two patients are entirely alike, as PC surgery responses to treatment can vary greatly. The personal recovery experience of each man will be impacted by age, any additional health factors, the treatment side-effects and the bodies response to treatment. One of the major factors for incontinence and sexual dysfunction after PC surgery is dependent on how much tissue is removed/damaged during the treatments and how far the cancer has spread. My PC Journey started, October 2018, when my primary care doctor felt an abnormality (asymmetric) in my prostate gland during my yearly physical check-up. He recommended I see an Oncologist, which I did in December 2018. Having no symptoms, pain, or discomfort before my diagnosis, I didn’t immediately contact the Oncologist. The Oncologist performed tests and sent me to other PC specialists for second opinions. At age 71, I took a vacation with the doctors blessing from February through March 2019. The Prostatectomy Surgery was performed in June 2019. The final decision to have a prostatectomy was easy, due to my cancer being deemed ‘aggressive’. My doctor told me he expects my cancer to return, but that hasn’t happened yet. A Prostate Cancer Journey can be filled with unimaginable issues and challenges that a patient and caregiver will need to manage. Under highly stressful and debilitated circumstances, the patient and caregivers will be making decisions that will impact their lives in major ways. Prostate Cancer changes the lives of patients and families forever! Throughout my Journey, I was constantly filled with stress, due to the need to make multiple decisions regarding the issues and challenges I faced throughout the PC Journey. As is common with most men, I didn’t want to contact my doctor or the medical community to ask questions. I turned to the internet to find direct, honest, common-man speak information to help me make decisions. Yes, the internet provides many articles by the medical community and advertisers, but the information was not helpful. The frustration led me to compile Survivor information and Resources for this book, PROSTATE CANCER JOUNEY HANDBOOK and the Website Prostateroadmap.com. These have been created for patients and caregivers to navigate and manage their Prostate Cancer Journey. I hope the doctors found your cancer early. Wishing you and your family the best.
Paul Surface, PC Survivor and Advocate