Getting a prostate cancer diagnosis

Joining the GU Podcast

On Friday, we were excited to join a podcast by the dynamic duo – Professor Declan Murphy and Dr Renu Eapen.

Photograph of a podcast studio where a woman and man sit at microphones

Declan and Renu produce GU Cast, with regular episodes on all things prostate, kidney, bladder, testis and penile cancer.  They invite guests on (like us) to discuss these issues.

Our topic was – The post-prostatectomy journey – things I wish we knew back then.

Urology nurse consultant, Emma Birch, was the other guest on the podcast.

Photograph of woman - Emma Birch, urology nurse consultant

Emma shared her considerable experience on this topic.

All five of us discussed things we had expected before prostate surgery and the things we didn’t know about beforehand.

My view on the prostatectomy journey

I believe that prostatectomy and the recovery period afterwards involve two distinct phases.  This means that emotions and goals are not the same throughout the prostate cancer removal process.

Phase One - The operation

Phase One is the operation itself – getting the cancer out of the body to prevent death.  This is obviously the most critical issue when a man is faced with prostate cancer!

Once surgery is done and dusted, I believe that Phase Two kicks in – recovery.

Phase Two - Recovery

My theory then extends to Phase Two being a two-stage journey:

  • Stage A deals with incontinence
  • Stage B tackles erectile dysfunction

As discussed during the podcast, men (and their partners) typically go in for prostatectomy with a view along these lines –

“I want this surgery to get rid of the cancer – I don’t want it to kill me.  After surgery, I want to be continent as quickly as possible – I don’t want to wear nappies or leak urine all over the place.  It would be nice if I could get my erections back, but they’re not critically important right now.”

Survival rates following prostate cancer treatment tend to be very high.  Treatments have improved dramatically and surgery itself is much safer and more effective than it was in the past.  This means that more men are making it through Phase One and living through Phase Two.

Priorities shift after treatment

Priorities shift as time passes and urinary issues also tend to improve with appropriate care (see Alan’s earlier post on this).

This means that men and their partners tend to reach a point some time after treatment where they miss the intimacy that sex used to provide.

You can check out all of Declan and Renu’s podcasts – GU Cast – and learn more than you expect from their illustrious array of guests.

Just click on the GU Cast image below to visit the website and subscribe.

Clickable blue logo for GU Cast - a podcast about genitourinary matters

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