Navigate your prostate cancer journey, your way

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Understanding your Cancer

1 in 6

Black Men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Early Detection
is Key!

1 in 8

Men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

In Conversation

Josh Kraft &
Dr. Atish D. Choudhury

In one of our first clinician and patient features, Dr. Choudhury, from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, sits down with Josh Kraft, President of the Patriots Foundation, to discuss his prostate cancer journey.

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The Power of Telling Stories

The Power of Telling Stories

You are not alone.

collage of prostate cancer patients
collage of prostate cancer patients

Common Questions about
Prostate Cancer

Will I be able to have sex during or after my treatment?

Patients do not have to worry that having sex during treatment for prostate cancer will make the cancer worse.

In some cases, such as when patients are using chemotherapy, it is recommended that patients use condoms during sex to avoid having medications pass into the ejaculate and expose their partner.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if this is a concern for you if you are using medicines to treat your cancer and want to have sex. Sex does not make the cancer worse, and can be a way for patients to connect with their partners and cope during a difficult diagnosis.

It is also important to know that many men do not feel like having sex during treatment for prostate cancer. If you do not want to have sex, remember that libido, or sex drive, is dependent on many factors and lack of libido is not your fault or unusual.

Understanding the cause of low libido can give you a starting point for changing things. Also, remember that medications that are used to treat prostate cancer decrease testosterone levels.

Testosterone is a male hormone that is largely responsible for libido and can support having good erections. If it is low, you may need to make a special effort to get yourself in the mood to have sex, and you may need medications or devices to help you have erections that can sustain intercourse. You can ask your team to refer you to a sexual health specialist or urologist who specializes in erectile dysfunction to help you with these concerns.

There are multiple things that you can do to support sexual health despite a prostate cancer diagnosis, and asking for help from your cancer treatment team is a great first step towards regaining this part of your life.

Is this going to kill me?

When a person hears they have cancer, the number one question often is whether or not the cancer will be deadly. Your doctor can give you a better idea of whether your prostate cancer is likely curable or if it is something that you will need to live with for the remainder of your life.

That opinion will be based on factors related to the cancer aggressiveness and your health. Prostate cancer aggressiveness is judged by the Gleason score, the PSA level, and whether the cancer is all in the prostate or has moved to lymph nodes, other organs, or bones.

In most cases, cancer that is all in the prostate is cancer that we hope can be cured. In many cases, cancer that has spread to bones or other organs is usually not curable. However, the details matter and only your doctor can really give you a good guess as to how things will go for you.

Remember that your doctor is always just making their best guess. No one knows exactly what will happen in the future, and cancer surprises even the most well-trained and experienced doctors. Just know that this is a really important question to ask for most patients, and you should not feel stressed or embarrassed if this is something that you want to know.

Also, know that many men with incurable prostate cancer live for years, and sometimes decades, with their cancer. So, no matter what the answer is, it is important to look to the future with optimism and resolve to live well, whether you are living with or after a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

I feel anxious and scared all the time - is there anything I can do?

It is common to feel anxious, scared, depressed, and sometimes angry after a cancer diagnosis. These feelings may pass relatively quickly over 3-6 weeks, or they may stick around for longer.

Changes in mood often come with changes in appetite and sleep, causing people to sleep or eat more or less. It is important to talk with your doctor and support network of loved ones and friends if you are feeling these things.

Some people find it helpful to talk about their feelings with support groups, family, friends, or other loved ones. For others talking with a psychologist can be a way to learn coping strategies and changes in perspective to get through difficult things like the ups and downs of a prostate cancer diagnosis.

There are also many medicines that can help you feel better by correcting the changes in the body that cause low mood in times of physical or emotional stress. These medicines take weeks to months to work because they allow the body to restore itself to normal rather than just being “happy pills.” Some people even use a combination of medicines and counseling to feel better.

Whatever works for you is worth it because you can feel better. Talk with your doctor to take the first steps to do that.