This book is for men who are about to receive or have received treatment for prostate cancer. It contains information to help you understand important issues about managing sexual issues after your treatment. It may also be helpful for your partner to read this booklet.
Your cancer journey
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, it’s common for you to see a number of health professionals with different expertise who work together as a multidisciplinary team (also known as a healthcare team). Best practice treatment and supportive care for people with cancer involves a team of different health professionals. Each team member brings different skills that are important in managing care and in making decisions according to your individual needs. The team includes health professionals who are involved in diagnosing your cancer, treating your cancer, managing symptoms and side effects, and assisting you with your feelings or concerns during your cancer experience.
The cancer journey is your personal experience of cancer. It’s not the same for everybody, even with the same type of cancer. Depending on your stage of prostate cancer and other underlying conditions, your experience may be quite different to someone else’s.
As the diagram ‘Your cancer journey’ shows, it can be useful to think of the journey in stages that may include detection, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care and survivorship. For some, it may include end of life care. Take each stage as it comes so you can break down what feels like an overwhelming situation into smaller, more manageable steps.
For some men, the impact of treatment may be minimal or quickly resolved. For others, this impact can be more difficult, requiring further support and help. The aim of this booklet is to provide you with information that you can then use as a guide to further discussions with your doctor and healthcare team about your situation. Being informed enables you to participate in decisions about your care and leads to improved experiences and better care.
This booklet contains information on:
- what is normal male sexual function
- erectile dysfunction
- how prostate cancer and treatments can affect your sexual function
- medical treatments for erectile dysfunction
- looking after yourself – your lifestyle
- where to get further information and support.
The cancer journey is your personal experience of cancer. It’s not the same for everybody, even with the same type of cancer.