A STRANGE PLACE
AN INFORMATION GUIDE
is the Introduction to a 5 part Information Guide. Index
diagnosis of prostate cancer is shocking. Life will never be the same. Everything
changes. You feel lost; you don't know what to do.
The late Robert Young
was diagnosed in the latter part of 1999 with a PSA of over 1,000 ng/ml. He compared
a prostate cancer diagnosis to being dropped, without your consent, into a new
country. A country where the language, customs, terrain, roads and rules are all
foreign. You are in a Strange Place, and it's frightening.
this book to be a good travel guide to the Strange Place. It will help men (and
their partners and those who are close to them) find their way around this new
country. From it they can learn some of the basic language, customs and options,
including the Golden Rule:
THE GOLDEN RULE OF PROSTATE CANCER IS -
THERE ARE NO RULES
process of diagnosis is subjective, with significant variances in the interpretation
of test results; the choice of the most appropriate treatment is difficult because of a lack of good
comparative information; the outcome of any treatment is variable and unpredictable.
the lack of rules, this booklet will enable you to find a path through the Forest
of Fear to Diagnosis. You will be able to
cross the Doubtful Desert to get to Treatment
and to decide which option may suit you best. It will take you through the highs
and the lows of the Plains of Recovery and may help
you deal with the side effects of treatment. It will give you a significantly
better chance of reaching the final goal of Remission.
Ideally, all men who have prostate problems or an elevated PSA will also
read this booklet before they start on their journey. They will be able to deal
with the issues they may face better than those men who were completely unprepared
for the distress of diagnosis.
goal of what follows is to provide a better understanding of some of the basic
aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. It is not intended
to take the place of the more personal and detailed information and advice that
only a trained medical advisor can provide.
all men who have prostate problems, an elevated PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen)
or even those men having their annual DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) and PSA
check-up will read this book. It will help them deal more easily with what they
will face if they have a positive diagnosis for prostate cancer. It will be helpful
even if warning signs are discovered that may require further investigation.
we explore this Strange Place and all its features, I think it is important to
recognize that the normal reaction to a diagnosis of prostate cancer is one of
shock, dismay, fear and confusion. But uppermost in the minds of most men who
have just been diagnosed with this disease are two questions:
long have I got? What is it like to die from prostate cancer?
IF THESE QUESTIONS BOTHER YOU AND YOU WANT TO SKIP THEM,
GO NOW TO THE NEXT PART: Part 1 - Preparing For The Journey BUT REMEMBER THIS:
VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER
cancer can, and does, kill thousands of men each year throughout the world. It
should not be underestimated or treated lightly. But many more men survive the
disease than succumb to it. It is important to know that.
Because of the high survival rates and the relatively slow progress of the disease
in most men:
One: 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 completing it.
Two: There 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.
to Part 1 - Preparing ForThe Journey