What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate gland, which is a small walnut-shaped gland in men. The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum and produces a fluid that helps to nourish and transport sperm.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men worldwide. It usually develops slowly and may not cause any symptoms for many years, which can make it difficult to detect and diagnose in its early stages. However, in some cases, prostate cancer can grow quickly and may spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lymph nodes, or lungs.
There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer, including age, family history of the disease, obesity, and certain genetic mutations. Some symptoms of prostate cancer may include difficulty urinating, blood in the urine or semen, and discomfort in the pelvic area.
Treatment options for prostate cancer depend on various factors, including the stage and severity of the cancer, as well as the individual's overall health and personal preferences. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy. In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be used.
Psychological Challenges that May Arise in Men with Prostate Cancer
Receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer and undergoing treatment can cause psychological stress and anxiety in men. Men who receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer may be concerned about the potential outcomes of the disease and treatment options. During treatment, invasive therapies such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, as well as medications, may be used. The side effects of these treatments, such as sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, or constipation, can cause psychological problems such as anxiety and depression in men who must experience symptoms. In addition, fear of cancer recurrence after treatment can lead to chronic stress and anxiety.
Receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer can cause feelings of death anxiety and loss of self-confidence in men. Symptoms such as sexual dysfunction or urinary incontinence can create feelings of low self-esteem, shame, and embarrassment. Therefore, it is important for men with prostate cancer to receive psychological support to cope with this challenging process. Psychological support can be provided through psychotherapy. At Koru Ankara Hospital, our psychiatrists and clinical psychologist provide psychological support before and after prostate cancer diagnosis if needed.
Healthcare providers can support men with prostate cancer by providing them with information, helping them cope with anxiety and stress, creating a proper nutrition plan, and encouraging regular exercise to overcome their psychological problems. In addition, it is important for men fighting prostate cancer to maintain close relationships with their social circles, friends, and family. It has been shown that this support can help them cope with psychological problems and adhere to treatment.
How Do We Provide Psychological Support to Our Patients at Koru Hospital?
In our hospital, we have psychiatrists and clinical psychologists who provide psychological support to cancer patients.
For psychological struggles related to prostate cancer, individualized psychological treatment may be necessary for patients. These treatment methods can help patients cope with the stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and similar issues that come with prostate cancer.
The psychological treatment methods applied in our hospital include:
Patients with psychological problems related to prostate cancer may be offered individual therapy. The therapist is specially trained to understand the patient's problems and develop a suitable treatment plan. Individual therapy may be a relatively unknown area for those who have not received psychological support before. Our hospital provides individual therapy upon request by the patient with our psychologist before and after prostate cancer diagnosis.
Individual psychological treatment for prostate cancer patients should be personalized by the psychiatrist and psychologist according to the patient's condition and needs.
Assessment of the Patient's Condition
Psychological treatment for prostate cancer patients begins with an assessment of the patient's condition. The patient's psychological, social, and emotional needs, difficulties, and anxieties are determined. This determines the areas that the treatment will target.
Establishment of a Therapeutic Relationship
It is important for the patient to establish a safe and strong relationship with the therapist for the success of the treatment. The therapist understands the patient's emotional needs, shows empathy, and creates a supportive environment. This environment allows the patient to open up to the psychologist more comfortably, which is one of the key factors in making the treatment more efficient and fast.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Our psychologist applies Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to patients with prostate cancer. CBT is one of the most common psychological treatment methods that can be given to prostate cancer patients. CBT aims to change the patient's thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. CBT can be used to reduce the patient's anxiety and stress levels, cope with depression, treat sexual dysfunction, and reduce the fear of recurrence.
The following steps can be taken for prostate cancer patients to benefit from CBT:
Questioning False Beliefs about Treatment
False or excessive beliefs that cause anxiety about prostate cancer treatment are questioned and restructured by the therapist. For example, false beliefs such as fear of experiencing side effects during radiotherapy or the belief that short-term sexual problems after surgery will continue for a lifetime.
Learning Coping Skills for Anxiety and Stress
CBT is effective in teaching coping skills for anxiety and stress. The therapist teaches cognitive and behavioral strategies that reduce the patient's level of anxiety. In addition, the patient is taught techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and similar methods to reduce their stress.
Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction
CBT can be used to help patients with sexual dysfunction regain their sexual function during prostate cancer treatment. The therapist identifies the factors that cause the patient's sexual dysfunction and teaches strategies to overcome them.
Reducing Fear of Recurrence
CBT can be used to reduce the fear of recurrence experienced by patients after prostate cancer treatment. The therapist questions and restructures the patient's thoughts and concerns.
CBT can be an effective method for psychological support and treatment in patients with prostate cancer. However, different treatment approaches may be required for each patient, and therefore, patients are individually evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist, and special programs are created for each patient.
Prostate cancer treatment not only affects the patient but also their family members. Therefore, families of patients undergoing prostate cancer treatment should be a part of the treatment process. Family therapy can be used to help family members cope with the illness and provide support.
Family therapy is conducted with the participation of all family members. The therapy helps family members communicate with each other and express their feelings. During this process, family members can create a supportive environment by understanding each other's feelings and concerns. Therapy can also be used to strengthen family relationships and develop strategies to cope with the challenges brought by prostate cancer treatment.
The goal of family therapy is to support the patient's treatment, increase communication among family members, reduce stress, solve family problems, and improve the emotional well-being of the entire family. To achieve this, the therapist observes the dynamics and interactions between family members, understands their needs and anxieties, and helps family members interact with each other in a healthy way.
Family therapy can help prostate cancer patients and their families cope healthily and support each other during the treatment process.
Prostate cancer group therapy is a treatment method that allows men undergoing prostate cancer treatment to come together and receive support by sharing the challenges they face during treatment.
Group therapy is conducted with several prostate cancer patients gathering with a therapist. Group members support each other by sharing their experiences, concerns, fears, successes, and challenges during the treatment process.
The therapist is considered a member of the group and establishes open and honest communication with group members to gain their trust. A sense of solidarity is formed among group members, and they support each other by understanding each other's feelings.
The goal of group therapy is to help prostate cancer patients and their families cope with the challenges they face during treatment. Group therapy allows patients to share their experiences during the treatment process, receive support, and offer ideas and suggestions to each other. In addition, group therapy prevents patients from feeling isolated and helps them connect with others to provide social support.
Group therapy is an effective treatment method that helps prostate cancer patients cope with the psychological challenges they face during treatment. The therapy can help patients feel better, have a better quality of life, and reduce the emotional stress brought by the illness.
Psychological issues related to prostate cancer can also be managed with medication therapy. Antidepressants, anxiolytics, and similar medications can be used to alleviate symptoms such as anxiety and depression that the patient is experiencing.
These treatment methods can help prostate cancer patients cope with psychological stressors. However, since each patient has a different condition, treatment plans should be determined individually.