Coming to terms with your stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis may take time.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A diagnosis of stage 4 prostate cancer can be shocking and overwhelming. Just as you're coming to terms with this bad news, you're expected to make important decisions about your health care.

Learning to cope will take time, but eventually you'll figure out what brings you peace in the midst of medical appointments and hope in the face of a devastating diagnosis.

Here are some ideas for coping with stage 4 prostate cancer:

  • Learn enough about stage 4 prostate cancer to make decisions about your care. Ask your doctor about your prostate cancer, including your treatment options and, if you like, your prognosis. As you learn more about advanced prostate cancer, you may become more confident in making treatment decisions.
  • Keep friends and family close. Keeping your close relationships strong will help you deal with your stage 4 prostate cancer. Friends and family can provide the practical support you'll need, such as helping take care of your home or your pets if you're in the hospital. And they can serve as emotional support when you feel overwhelmed by cancer.
  • Find someone to talk with. Find a good listener who is willing to listen to you talk about your hopes and fears. This may be a friend or family member. The concern and understanding of a counselor, medical social worker, clergy member or cancer support group also may be helpful.

    Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Or check your phone book, library or a cancer organization, such as the National Cancer Institute or the American Cancer Society.

  • Look for a connection to something beyond yourself. Having a strong faith or a sense of something greater than oneself helps many people cope with cancer.
May 13, 2014