Receiving bad news

taken from Small Gland, Big Problem 4th Edition
by Professor Roger Kirby, Health Press 2011

Of course, being told that you are suffering from prostate cancer will come as a major shock. In an instant your optimistic prospects for the future are transformed. The blow can be lessened, however, if the news is broken sensitively and sympathetically, in the presence of your partner or a close friend, by a caring and informed professional who gives you as much time as you need. It has been said, wisely, that if a doctor breaks bad news kindly, the patient will never forget him. But if done badly, the patient will never forgive him.

Often nowadays, the consultation with the doctor who delivers the news about the biopsy results is followed immediately by an interview with a urology nurse specialist. This specialist nurse will help to answer any further questions you might have and provide written material about the disease and its treatment. This can be invaluable, because many patients retain only a fraction of the information they are given after the shocking news of a cancer diagnosis. The specialist nurse will also provide details of sources of support from charities, such as Prostate Action, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, as well as details of patient support groups. (You can find details of sources of further information and support on page 102.)

Although the news may not be what you had hoped for, remember that the outlook for men with prostate cancer is now generally good and, with all the current research effort and the development of new treatment options, is improving all the time.