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Support

It’s important not to feel that you are facing prostate cancer alone. By getting support from your friends and family, as well as seeking support from your health team and support groups, you will feel better prepared to cope with your cancer and treatment.

The treatment team you see here is an example; your own treatment team might be different depending on your treatment centre.

Treatment team GP

General Practitioner (GP)

Your GP may have done your first tests and advised that you go to hospital for more detailed examinations and diagnosis. After initial treatment and if PSA levels are stable, your GP may also be involved in monitoring your progress during follow-up sessions. Your GP will also be able to give advice on coping with side effects and help to organise counselling or other services.

Treatment team urologist

Urologist

This is a hospital doctor specialising in treating problems with the urinary tract including the prostate. The urologist is a trained surgeon and will be able to give you information and advice on treatment options and how to cope with side effects of treatment.

Treatment team urological nurse

Urological nurse

This is a nurse specialising in urinary problems. They will be able to give you advice on managing urinary problems such as incontinence, frequency and urgency. They can also explain how to look after a catheter if needed.

Treatment team practise nurse

Practice nurse

This is a nurse who works in GP surgeries and will be involved in many aspects of your care, including managing side effects and monitoring your general well-being.

Treatment team district nurse

District nurse

A district nurse is someone who visits patients in their own home. They may form part of your treatment team if getting to your local surgery is difficult.

Treatment team continence adviser

Continence adviser

Continence advisers give advice and practical support on how to manage incontinence issues. They can be based either in the hospital or in the community. They will be able to discuss the pros and cons of the different incontinence products with you, as well as explain how to perform pelvic floor exercises, how to retrain the bladder and other forms of treatment that can help.

Treatment team radiologist

Radiologist

Radiologists are hospital doctors who specialise in using medical imaging techniques (e.g. MRI scans) to help diagnose the cancer or assess how severe it is (staging). If a lymph node biopsy is needed, this may be performed by the radiologist.

Treatment team radiation oncologist

Radiation oncologist

This is a hospital doctor who specialises in treating cancer with radiotherapy. The radiation oncologist will be able to give you advice on how treatment will be planned, what it will involve and what side effects are likely to be felt.

Treatment team medical oncologist

Medical oncologist

This is a hospital doctor who specialises in treating cancer with chemotherapy or other drugs targeted to cancer. The medical oncologist will be able to give you advice on the type of chemotherapy being used and how to deal with any side effects that you may experience. Normally a medical oncologist would only form part of your treatment team if the prostate cancer is advanced and has spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment team pathologist

Pathologist

A pathologist is a doctor who examines the tissues taken during a biopsy. They will help to stage and diagnose the cancer. It is unusual for you to have direct contact with the pathologist; normally the results from the pathologist are reported to you via your urologist.

Other people you may come across:

  • Dieticians – someone who gives advice on diet
  • Occupational therapists – people who provide exercises and equipment to help with daily living
  • Social workers – people who give advice on local care resources and benefits.

Appointments and talking to your treatment team

You might not have a very good understanding of how your body works, or be familiar with all the correct terms. You may feel uneasy using medical words, or worry that you’ve made a mistake. However, you shouldn’t let this hold you back when talking to your treatment team.

It’s important to bear in mind that:

  • It’s fine to use the terms and words you do understand and feel comfortable with
  • You can look up terms you don’t understand
  • You shouldn’t be afraid to ask a doctor or nurse if you want something clarified
  • You may feel embarrassed, but healthcare professionals are used to helping when a patient feels awkward
  • If you’re feeling uncomfortable, or unable to explain, it is fine to say so

Lots of people have trouble remembering what their doctor tells them. When you have cancer, discussions can seem complicated. You might also feel emotional, or have received news that you need time to get used to.

In any consultation it is fine to take along notes to help you remember important questions. It is also OK to take notes of what’s been said, or ask your healthcare professional to jot down things down for you.

 

Seeking help from your treatment team

Don’t suffer in silence. Always contact your GP if you are worried about:

  • New symptoms
  • Side effects
  • Feeling low
  • Urinary problems
  • Sexual problems
  • Emotional problems

Reporting of side effects

Like all medicines, Zoladex can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme, Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

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GB-6242. Date of Preparation: Sept 2017