Staying healthy, looking after yourself and tackling physical and mental challenges
Being diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer can impact your body and mind, with treatment side effects often challenging your health and wellbeing even after treatment has stopped.
In this section of your toolkit, you will discover strategies and resources to support you in how to eat well, live healthily, stay active and strengthen your physical and mental wellbeing. You will also learn how to tackle sex and fertility issues, understand genetic testing and find out about complementary therapies.
Recovery and rehabilitation: looking after yourself even after treatment
Looking after yourself and allowing time for recovery and rehabilitation during and after your prostate cancer experience is important. Living with prostate cancer continues even after treatment has stopped. Learn how you can support yourself to better manage everyday living and deal with further testing or treatment.
Healthy diet & lifestyle: eating and living well is important for your wellbeing
Eating well and having a healthy lifestyle is important for your mind and body during testing, diagnosis, and before and after treatment. Evidence shows being healthy can improve treatment and recovery outcomes, while reducing the risks of other diseases.
Learn what a healthy diet is, what you can do if you have weight issues or other challenges, how to live a healthy life and how to get that all-important quality sleep during your prostate cancer experience.
Physical activity: staying active improves your health and wellbeing
Keeping active helps with your physical and mental health, even if you don’t feel like doing it. Exercise and social activities, like golf or bowling, can help keep your mind and body healthy and strong.
Discover why physical activity is so important in prostate cancer, how to stay active, what exercise is the most effective, how often you should exercise and what to do if you have specific challenges or just don’t know where to start.
Psychological wellbeing: strategies and support for your mental welfare
Prostate cancer is not only physically challenging, but it can also be the most stressful time in your life, and you may experience emotions more intensely than you ever have before.
Learn how to support your own mental wellbeing with tips and strategies and find out how to get the support and resources you need from health professionals, your family and people around you.
Sex and fertility: managing challenges in your relationships and sex life
Prostate cancer and the treatments can change and challenge your sex life, sexuality, relationships and fertility.
Understand why communication is key and how to have difficult conversations with your partner or when in new relationships. Learn why building or rebuilding intimacy in relationships is beneficial and how to manage changes in sexual function. Also, find out how to get support and what you can do if fathering children is important to you.
Genetic testing and counselling: determining if you have a family risk of cancer
Around 5–10% of prostate cancer is Australia is genetic. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, breast cancer or ovarian cancer you and your family may consider genetic testing, which can involve genetic counselling.
Find out what genetic testing is and whether you would like to discuss this with your healthcare team.
Complementary therapies: non-traditional support for health and wellbeing
Many men seek out complementary therapies to support their wellbeing and treatment during their prostate cancer. Learn what complementary therapies are, whether they are safe and effective and why you should always talk to your healthcare team before taking on these therapies or treatments.
Your questions answered
I have trouble thinking of healthy meals to make. What can I do?
Planning healthy meals does take time and preparation. Talk to your healthcare team or call a PCFA nurse on 1800 22 00 99 – they can provide you with advice or refer you to a dietitian who can provide you with an individualised meal plan. Find out more by following the link to: Healthy Diet & Lifestyle.
I am still tired every day, do I really need to do exercise?
Moving your body and getting enough rest every day are both very important during your prostate cancer experience and recovery. Talk to your healthcare team about the best level of both for you. They may also refer you to an accredited exercise physiologist (AEP), who will assess your health and fitness and can tailor an exercise program that is safe and will achieve the best outcomes for you. Learn more at: Physical Activity
I’m trying to stay calm and not worry about my prostate cancer coming back, but I am struggling. What can I do?
Having or recovering from prostate cancer is very challenging. What you are feeling is normal and it is common for men to need support with their mental wellbeing during this experience. You do not need to go through this experience alone. There are many professionals, communities and support groups who can help. Talk to your healthcare team or call a PCFA nurse on 1800 22 00 99. If you are urgently needing help, call Lifeline on 13 11 44 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636. Find out more by following the link to: Psychological Wellbeing
I feel embarrassed to talk to my partner about the changes in my sexual function. How do I discuss this?
It is important for your relationship/s that you can talk openly about your prostate cancer and the possible changes in your sexual function. You don’t have to tell them everything at once. Take your time and seek support from a member of your healthcare team that you feel comfortable with, if you need help starting the conversation. Learn more strategies and find out about support options for you at: Sex and Fertility