This section will address issues and information surrounding prostate cancer caregivers, from managing mental health, to coping with loss of sexual intimacy.
The Canadian Cancer Society (CSS) says:
“If you’re feeling pressured into becoming a caregiver, it’s best to be honest about how you feel. Respect and speak up for your own feelings, needs and desires, as well as those of your loved one. Decide your limits and let others know so that both you and your loved one get the help you need. It’s normal to be uncomfortable with the idea of giving medicines, giving physical care (such as helping your loved one to the bathroom) or maybe you’re worried about juggling the responsibilities you already have at home or work with this new role. If you talk about it, you can usually work something out.”1 The healthcare team can provide lots of guidance on medicine, or maybe someone else can act as the main caregiver or share the responsibilities with you.
Caring for a man with prostate cancer is a challenging experience and may be one of the most difficult feats of your life; he needs you to be mentally and physically prepared for the tough days, the appointments, the long hospital visits, the treatments, and to share the better days with him as well. Even more, caregiving means taking on many new responsibilities from emotional support to managing medical appointments.
The Prostate Cancer Canada website has additional information on how to take care of yourself as the caregiver. This resource is designed to help you better understand how you can support your friend or family member as they face prostate cancer.
Caregiving for advanced prostate cancer
A diagnosis of advanced metastatic prostate cancer presents challenges for both the patient and their family. Difficult conversations and decisions arise, revolving around caregiving responsibilities, palliative treatment options and end-of-life care.
As advanced prostate cancer is more prevalent in older men, diagnosed patients and their spouses may already have other age-related or chronic health issues that affect their mobility and independence. In the presence of one or more comorbidity, advanced prostate cancer is yet another burden to the health concerns of the patient and their family.
While spouses are the most common caregivers of men diagnosed with prostate cancer, adult children may find themselves taking on the role of caregiver. When adult children are busy establishing their lives and raising families of their own, the added distress of seeing a parent in a vulnerable state makes this a difficult time for everyone involved.
Other Caregiving Resources
More Caregiving Resources
Canadian Cancer Society – Has some helpful tips for caregivers.
My Prostate Cancer Roadmap – A website designed to provide basic information, practical suggestions, and resources to help you care for your loved one with prostate cancer.
His prostate cancer – This website provides a wealth of information for those who have had someone close to them diagnosed with prostate cancer.
US&TOO – What you need to know about your partner’s prostate cancer – An online brochure as a primer for partners and wives whose loved ones have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
PCCN – What now? When your partner has prostate cancer – A brochure provided by Prostate Cancer Canada Network’s Edmonton branch for partners who have a spouse diagnosed.
Cancer care – Caregiving for your loved one with cancer – An online booklet filled with advice from professional oncology social workers from CancerCare.