phoenix 5 - to help men and their companions overcome issues created by prostate cancer
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A selection from:
Men,Women, and Prostate Cancer
Page 17

Amid all the welcome new attention to prostate cancer and the promising, if controversial, new medical developments in its detection and treatment, patients and their female caregivers are still challenged as much as ever by certain basic problems. It is these matters, often allowed to lurk in the darkness, that this book is dedicated to illuminating. Such problems include the following:

It remains extremely difficult to predict how a given case of prostate cancer will develop and to determine how best to treat it, which makes each case unique

. The prostate gland itself is one of the least understood parts of the male anatomy. Its small size and its deeply embedded position within the body complicate research efforts, and scientists still have many questions about its biological purpose and function, its puzzling tendency to grow increasingly larger as a man ages, and the reasons why the course of prostate cancer can vary so much from individual to individual. Adding to the gland's mystery is the fact that men down through the ages have been so reluctant to talk about trouble ''down there,'' out of fear, embarrassment, or false bravado.

As a result of all this ignorance and uncertainty, there are extremely few ''general truths'' about prostate cancer. Each individual case must be considered unique; and, because different, equally qualified doctors often disagree strongly on how to treat the same case, patients and their caregivers often need to play a greater-than usual role in determining for themselves how they want to handle illness-related matters. Even more so than with other serious diseases, specific treatment decisions about prostate cancer must take into account the individual patient's overall physical condition, emotional well-being, psychological resources, living situation, and lifestyle preferences.

From the man's perspective, the stress associated with prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment can easily aggravate stress relating to other psychological issues involving his manhood and aging.


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