This week’s guest blogger is Ivy Ahmed, Director of Patient Education for ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer. ZERO’s mission is to end prostate cancer by advancing research, encouraging action, and providing education and support to men and their families.
At ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, our mission is to end prostate cancer. We lead the fight to end the disease by advancing research, encouraging action, and providing education and support to men and their families. As you can imagine, Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day is a very important time for us because we have an opportunity to celebrate all men and encourage families to have an open dialogue about the risks of prostate cancer and the options for treatment if a loved one is diagnosed.
As part of our Father’s Day #DoItForDad campaign, we released the findings of our education survey. Over a period of nine weeks, more than 1,400 people shared their prostate cancer experience with us through our survey. We’ve compiled the information and plan to use it to better develop patient education materials for men and their loved ones diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of those that responded, nearly 60 percent were men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 percent were caregivers, and the remaining 17 percent were tied to the prostate cancer community. We asked many questions, from age to stage, treatments and side effects, and most importantly what information they wanted at the time of diagnosis and further down the line.
Thank you to MyLifeLine for this opportunity to share a few of our key findings with you! Below are some of the highlights from our survey. The full report can be downloaded HERE.
- Only 41 percent of men were referred to a medical oncologist at any point during their prostate cancer journey. It is critical to round out your team of health care professionals with an oncologist to get a full understanding of all available prostate cancer treatments and to give yourself the best chance to beat the disease.
- When making treatment decisions, primary influences for patients/survivors included conducting their own research, listening to the doctor, and engaging a spouse/partner.
- Fifty-four percent of patient/s survivors made their treatment choice to avoid certain side effects. They identified urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and loss of libido as the side effects they most wanted to avoid.
- Nearly 80 percent of patients/survivors and caregivers received patient education information from their doctor. The patients/survivors found this information more useful than caregivers.
- When looking for information about prostate cancer, one third of caregivers always sought out information geared toward patients.
- More than half of caregivers said they felt additional stress as a result of prostate cancer.
Every year in June, to celebrate Father’s Day and Men’s Health Month, we host the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk – Capital Area. This year, we had more than 800 people come out to show their support for ending prostate cancer. We also created these Top 10 Tips for talking to your father or son about prostate cancer to encourage an open dialogue within families. To learn more about prostate cancer, risks, treatment, and ZERO, please visit our website at www.zerocancer.org.