New Fact Sheets Help Survivors Manage Symptoms After Prostate Cancer

Contact: James McCurtis, Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

November 30, 2009

Because men with prostate cancer often have troubling symptoms that continue after treatment has ended, the Michigan Cancer Consortium (MCC) has released a series of 14 new fact sheets to help men and their loved ones manage these symptoms and other problems that can occur following treatment.

The Managing Symptoms After Prostate Cancer fact sheets are the first and only materials developed specifically for prostate cancer survivors. Each fact sheet describes a symptom, gives practical tips for managing it, and indicates when further professional help is needed. Topics include:

- Bowel Problems After Radiation

- Brittle Bones From Hormone Therapy

- Coping with Cancer Stress - Skills for Patients and Caregivers

- Coping with Hormone Changes from Prostate Cancer Treatment

- Dealing With Strong Feelings About Cancer

- Fatigue - Feeling Tired or Worn Out

- Feeling Like a Man After Prostate Cancer Treatment

- Listening and Talking - Family Communication and Prostate Cancer

- Losing Your Hair

- Sexual Side Effects

- Staying Hopeful When the Future is Uncertain

- Support for the Spouses/Partners of Prostate Cancer Patients

- Urine Leaks After Prostate Cancer Treatment

- Urine Problems After Radiation

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2009, 7,010 Michigan men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Currently, there are more than 71,000 prostate cancer survivors in our state.

"Because treatment of prostate cancer may have serious adverse side effects, we wanted to develop fact sheets to help men manage these symptoms." said Vicki Rakowski, MCC Co-chairperson. 

 "Up until now, men as well as their health care providers did not have dedicated resources to address these concerns," said MCC Prostate Cancer Action Committee Co-Chairperson, Dr. Laurel Northouse.

The fact sheets will also be helpful to men's partners who are often involved in helping men manage symptoms.

"Clinicians should also find these useful, even for men without prostate cancer," said Dr. John Wei, University of Michigan urologist.

These helpful fact sheets were created by a team of prostate cancer survivors, nurses, and physicians with expertise in prostate cancer in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Community Health. The fact sheets are available exclusively online at www.prostatecancerdecision.org. The development of these fact sheets is based on the important findings of prostate cancer researchers.

Michigan taxpayers can help advance prostate cancer research by contributing to the Prostate Cancer Research Fund. Dollars designated for the Prostate Cancer Research Fund will be distributed through a grant program that supports prostate cancer research in Michigan. During the 2008 tax season, $52,235 was raised by this fund. Michiganders can still donate to the Prostate Cancer Research Fund when filing their 2009 state tax return. One hundred percent of the money collected stays here in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Community Health provides staff support for the MCC.