As you might expect, prostate cancer refers to a specific growth that affects the prostate. While it starts in that organ, that doesn’t mean it will stay there if left untreated. The good news is that prostate cancer usually develops fairly slowly and so there is time to catch it before it spreads. Your treatment plan will depend on what the tests show about the type of cancer you have and the stage it has reached. However, there are a few changes you’ll need to anticipate after your diagnosis.
1. You Typically Need A Specialist
Even if you were diagnosed by an oncologist, many doctors recommend that you visit one that specializes in prostate cancer. That’s because doctors who narrow their focus to one condition are more likely to be aware of emerging treatment options as well as common issues that affect people who are dealing with that particular condition. When you’re looking for a specialist, it’s good to start with recommendations from trusted friends or family. The doctor you’re currently seeing might also be helpful.
2. Expect More Tests
After your diagnosis, your doctor will still need to determine the best course of action for treatment. That typically means carrying out blood tests, computer tomography (CT) scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs.
Biopsies and bone scans may also be necessary if the doctor suspects that the tumors have spread. To prepare for these, always ask your doctor about any future tests during visits.
Fighting Inequity: What Prostate Cancer Patients Can Do to Self-Advocate
3. You’ll Need To Quit Smoking
Smoking has been linked to different types of cancer to varying degrees. It also affects your immune and circulatory systems. While you’re fighting prostate cancer, it’s essential that your body is at its healthiest.
If you’re having trouble walking away from the cigarettes, talk to your doctor about helpful options.
4. Your Nutrition Will Be Important
While there’s no specific diet for people who are dealing with prostate cancer, studies show that avoiding overly processed and high-fat foods can be good for you.
Adding berries, tomatoes, and other brightly colored foods are also a good bet. Supplements can be helpful, especially when you’re having a hard time eating. However, make sure to check in with your doctor because not every supplement is recommended for people with prostate cancer.