Helping Caregivers and Patients During National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
September is, among other things, National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. It is a time when various organizations across the country raise awareness and educate about prostate cancer. There are fundraising events and research forums and activities intended to celebrate, honor, and remember the men and their caregivers affected by prostate cancer.
Like most cancer patients, men with prostate cancer will often have someone in their lives who is a caregiver. This person is someone who might take him to treatment, accompany him to doctor’s appointments, or help him with household responsibilities. Caregivers for men with prostate cancer can be spouses, friends, children, grandchildren, or even neighbors.
As with all caregivers, the role of someone caring for someone with prostate cancer can vary.
The type of support you provide will depend on the needs of your friend or family member. It is important that you be prepared to wear many hats.
Tips for Caregivers of Prostate Cancer
According to its website, “ZERO- The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research improves the lives of men and families, and inspires action.”
This organization is one of the main sponsors of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. ZERO recognizes that being a caregiver to a cancer patient can be challenging. It offers some tips on its website to help.
- Allow the diagnosis to sink in – Because there are often no symptoms when someone is diagnosed with prostate cancer, the news can be a tremendous shock. As a caregiver, you can be upset and scared. Be sure to allow your loved one time to process his feelings about his diagnosis and prepare yourself to provide support.
- Educate yourself – Research as much as you can about the prostate cancer diagnosis. Look up treatment options and understand their possible side effects. The more you know, the more you can help your loved one ask questions and make informed intelligent decisions.
- Communicate – A cancer diagnosis can divide people or bring them closer together.
Talk to your loved one, ask what he needs from you. He may just want silent support. He may want you to take the lead on everything and be his advocate. Share your concerns and needs and encourage him to do the same.
- Be understanding – and patient! You might not always like what you hear as a caregiver. He might want to see his doctor alone when you want to be there.
He might not feel like talking. It will take patience and understanding to respect his needs when they are not the same as yours.
- Find support and take care of yourself – Like many caregivers, you might find yourself feeling depressed, anxious, alone, and overwhelmed. Being a caregiver to a cancer patient can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Do not hesitate to find support for yourself. Ask for help when you need it. Eat right, exercise, and find time to tend to your own needs.
Send a Gift Box From Rock The Treatment to Your Loved One With Prostate Cancer
Everyone is not going to be a hands-on caregiver to someone with prostate cancer. It can be hard to know what to do when a friend or family member receives a prostate cancer diagnosis.
At Rock the Treatment, we make it easy to let someone with cancer know you care and support them on their difficult journey. If someone you love has prostate cancer or any other type of cancer, send a helpful cancer gift basket from Rock The Treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation gift baskets are packed with the essentials needed to ease side effects of treatment, as well as enhance physical and mental well-being. See all of our cancer care packages and find the one that best supports their journey.