Prostate cancer and emotions – What men may feel

Men experience a myriad of different emotions with prostate cancer.  For example, your man may:

  • Be afraid of dying
  • Fear that his treatment choice will affect his ability to have sex
  • Be concerned about incontinence
  • Worry about you


He is probably asking many of the same questions that you are about your future.  You may also be experiencing the same fears.


Every man reacts differently

Some men will adopt a “take charge” attitude toward their prostate cancer while others will want to run or hide.

Then there are some men who will have a very positive outlook about their illness while others will tend to focus on the negative.

But even the most upbeat and positive men may have days when they feel frightened and uncertain.   This is normal and you may experience the same emotions too.

Men and women may process their emotions differently.  Read our article about how men and women react differently to stress.

Watch for serious depression

It’s common for men to feel depressed after their diagnosis.

But there’s a big difference between normal depression and sadness and clinical depression, which can immobilize men. Read about the warning signs of clinical depression.

Ask how he is feeling, but don’t pressure him if he doesn’t want to talk.

He may stay silent

Some men will want to talk about their feelings while others will not.  If this is the case with your loved one, try to be patient.

Forcing him to talk about his feelings when he’s not ready may just add more stress.  He may also feel that you are pressuring him.

Be prepared that he also may not be ready to talk about your feelings.

This doesn’t mean that you have to cope alone.  Read about support for you and him.

How you can support him

What may work is to ask your loved one how you can best help him.

You can also ask if he wants to talk about what he is feeling. If he does not want to talk, try to honor and respect his wishes.

You can let him know that you will be there for him if he does want to talk later.

Click here for more helpful communication tips. Or check out these pages:
Managing your emotions
Why it’s important to learn all you can
Searching for information
Get and stay organized
Pros and cons of telling others
Support for you and him
Family matters and concerns
Finding faith when you just can’t

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