is the second step in a series aimed at helping newly diagnosed people understand
some of the basics of a complex disease. Our recommendation is that the steps
are followed in sequence - the next three steps after this one are DIAGNOSIS
: SURVIVING : TREATMENT CHOICES. Each of these steps is linked to the next.
ARE THE CHANCES?
spite of what you may have read, relatively few men die from prostate cancer.
of the feelings of fear and panic which you may have are almost certainly based
on all the bad things you remember hearing or reading about cancer. But what you
may remember or may have been told may not be true. Here are some important basic
than 3% of male deaths in the USA are from this disease.
More men die in accidents each year. Heart
conditions cause more than 30% of male deaths in the USA.
unfortunate men who die from prostate cancer are older rather than younger. Half
the men are over the age of 80 when they die; less than 10% are under the age
latest studies show that about 95% of men diagnosed in the USA today will not
have died from prostate cancer in the fifteen or twenty years following diagnosis.
January 1, 2009, the official statistics estimated there were approximately two
and a half million men in the United States who had been diagnosed with cancer
of the prostate and were still alive. This estimate included men with active disease
and those who were cured of their disease.
are many variants of prostate cancer. This
study claims to identify 24 of the variants. While some are very dangerous,
most men have the variant described as slower and less aggressive.
Chart shows data for forty different cancers diagnosed
in the United States in a single year. It shows the number of people who died
from these diseases and expresses the number of deaths as a percentage of the
number of people diagnosed. Prostate
cancer comes in at #37.
LONG HAVE I GOT?
is often the one big question in the minds of most people when they are told they
have a life threatening disease. The issue of death or dying is important to most
of us. It is
usually the main driver behind all decisions to do with prostate cancer but is
rarely discussed openly. Because it was an issue that was very important for me,
I have written up a short piece that covers some of the relevant points. I called
it The Elephant In The Room.
SO GOOD NEWS
GOLDEN RULE OF PROSTATE CANCER
Golden Rule of prostate cancer is simple THERE ARE NO RULES.
process of diagnosis is subjective, with significant variances in the interpretation
of test results;
choice of the most appropriate treatment is difficult because of a lack of good
outcome of any treatment choice is variable and unpredictable.
uncertainty is something that everyone has to come to grips with. It can be a
very difficult process for some.
CAN BE A DANGEROUS DISEASE
cancer can, and does, kill thousands of men each year throughout the world. It
should never be underestimated or treated lightly, but it should not be feared.
Learning about the disease and choosing a good option that is appropriate for
the diagnosis enhances the chances of survival. In the words of a leading oncologist:
"It is important to assess status before determining strategy". In
plain English he means you should learn as much as you can about your own diagnosis
before choosing a treatment option that suits you, your family and your outlook
ARE IN A MARATHON NOT A SPRINT
process of learning isn't easy. It isn't quick. Full recovery from many of the
treatment options can take time. You will be facing a life that changes quite
drastically. Relationships will be strained. Patience is required. It is easier
to become patient if you have a broader understanding of the issues.
VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
is time for men and their families to educate themselves about the disease and
then to work with their medical team to make the best choices they can. There
is no need to rush into treatment that may not be the best choice.
GIVE UP HOPE
No one should give up hope as far as this disease is concerned. The journey to
recovery or remission through diagnosis and treatment can be a long and hard one.
It is made easier by the knowledge that there is a good chance of successfully
IS AT HAND - YOU ARE NOT ALONE NOW
will need all the help you can get, especially in the early stages of your diagnosis
and treatment. The
pages that follow will point you in the right direction and you will realize that
You Are Not Alone Now.
YANA people are here for you with our combined experience. Brief details of our
diagnosis and treatment are shown in the section Survivors' Stories. There
are more than 1,000 stories and more than 100 of them are from men who were diagnosed
ten years or more ago. They are searchable in a number of ways letting you find
men with a similar diagnosis to you, or a similar age or even living in the same
country or State.
free to e-mail any of our Mentors their addresses are shown at the bottom of their
stories. They will do all they can to support you on your way. There
are some down sides you need to be aware of. YANA's mentors can help you to deal
with the negatives. Prostate cancer is rarely a death sentence; most men
diagnosed today go on to live long and useful lives. They will see their daughters
married; they will see their grandchildren grow.
you wish to go directly to the stories click on the link SURVIVOR STORIES in the
header of this page. But I'd suggest you go along there after you have
followed the sequence of steps, because that will help you understand your diagnosis
and some of the terms used. CLICK HERE
TO GO TO THE NEXT STEP - DIAGNOSIS