Support for Gay Men with Prostate Cancer
Here we share a video from the Navigate trial website providing advice on seeking information and support for gay men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Text version of recorded audio:
“I think as a gay person yes, even for heterosexuals there was a lack of resource especially in the area of sexuality, the effects that might have happened at post surgery and post treatment.
I was surprised that almost no information was available in my consulting urologist’s office apart from a small leaflet.
At least today there is much more information available, but then it was a bit lost in the forest.
I feel there is support there, that someone who’s overwhelmed by the diagnosis, if you are not happy with the treatment you’re receiving, if you’re experiencing homophobia with a GP, with your urologist or just shock horror, certainly seek a second and a third opinion.
Once again there are support groups out there…there’s quite a number of them.
I think the essential part is to be in contact with someone else, don’t live with this pain. The aloneness of being diagnosed and what in the hell happens now.
There are resources out there and even if you just start off with Switchboard which is a gay support telephone service and utilise the other resources, but as one website says ‘YANA’, you are not alone.”
“Well one of the things for me was that I was an old gay liberation activist right from the early days of gay liberation in the 70s and I suppose I wasn’t going to take no from anybody.
So for me I just went straight into this saying you know I need to be recognised as a gay man. I’ve got issues as a gay man.
I’m not finding the resources that I need and asked questions of my health professionals in a way that was completely there.
I wasn’t partnered at the time so some of the issues about partners I’ve only come to later on in my own experience… because I now have re-partnered.
It became very clear to me that all of the stuff I’ve learnt from being a gay liberationist 30 years ago and from getting involved in being a HIV activist and researcher in those areas, that that field was years ahead in understanding gay men’s lives and it was going to take a lot of work to get prostate cancer as a field to catch up.
I think the braver that gay men are in their partners in demanding that gay men’s needs are taken into account, the quicker it will get better for gay men with prostate cancer and that’s a lesson we’ve learned in the history of gay rights.”
If you are reading this article before June 2020 and have recently been diagnosed with early-stage, low-risk prostate cancer, please consider joining our research trial www.navigateprostate.com.au to help navigate your treatment options.
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