Introduction to your prostate cancer handbook

Throughout your cancer experience, you may turn your attention to boosting your health and resilience and also creating a body that is less supportive of cancer.

Integrating self care with the best of evidence-based conventional treatment and complementary therapies is a good idea. Several self-care practices and complementary therapies are linked to improved survival and lower risk of recurrence. Many can also help manage side effects and symptoms and improve your overall health and wellness. You can continue many of these practices and therapies all throughout your cancer experience.

Before starting cancer treatment, you can build your resilience and get yourself into your best shape. During cancer treatment, adding these practices and therapies may be a sensible way to bolster the effects of conventional treatment and improve your tolerance to the side effects so you can complete your treatments. 

After you complete treatment, your doctor will set up a monitoring plan. This is a great time to evaluate any practices, habits, and complementary therapies you’ve been using or that you want to start. See what fits into your overall wellness plan. 

Using this handbook

This handbook provides a wealth of information in integrative medical care for people with prostate cancer, divided into sections for each phase of cancer. We suggest that you use it much as you might use a map or travel guide on a long road trip. Refer to it again and again, looking at the parts that apply to where you are right now on your journey.

Focus on what you need—you may want to look specifically at managing side effects and symptoms, or at improving surgery outcomes, or at finding a health professional to guide you.

The list of top practices and therapies, like a trip packing list, is a good summary of the self-care practices and complementary therapies that you’ll want to consider packing for your journey.

We encourage you to share this handbook with those who are helping you in your cancer experience and who may be interested: your caregivers, your medical team, your family, and friends.

If you are in crisis now, we recommend that you first take the time to address your feelings of crisis and distress. Come back to this handbook when you can focus your attention here.

Words of guidance

Read some words of inspiration and guidance from Michael Lerner, CancerChoices co-founder and author of Choices in Healing.

Keep reading about prostate cancer

Authors

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS

Senior Clinical Consultant
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Laura Pole is senior clinical consultant for CancerChoices. Laura is an oncology clinical nurse specialist who has been providing integrative oncology clinical care, navigation, consultation, and education services for over 40 years. She is the co-creator and co-coordinator of the Integrative Oncology Navigation Training at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC. Laura also manages the “Media Watch Cancer News That You Can Use” listserv for Smith Center/Commonweal. In her role as a palliative care educator and consultant, Laura has served as statewide Respecting Choices Faculty for the Virginia POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) Collaborative as well as provided statewide professional education on palliative and end-of-life care for the Virginia Association for Hospices and Palliative Care.

For CancerChoices, Laura curates content and research, networks with clinical and organizational partners, brings awareness and education of integrative oncology at professional and patient conferences and programs, and translates research into information relevant to the patient experience as well as clinical practice.

Laura sees her work with CancerChoices as a perfect alignment of all her passions, knowledge and skills in integrative oncology care. She is honored to serve you.

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS Senior Clinical Consultant

Nancy Hepp, MS

Lead Researcher and Program Manager
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Ms. Hepp is a researcher and communicator who has been writing and editing educational content on varied health topics for more than 20 years. She serves as lead researcher, program manager, and writer for CancerChoices. Her graduate work in research and cognitive psychology, her master’s degree in instructional design, and her certificate in web design have all guided her in writing and presenting information for a wide variety of audiences and uses. Nancy’s service as faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University also provided experience in medical research, plus insights into medical education and medical care from the professional’s perspective.

Nancy Hepp, MS Lead Researcher and Program Manager

Last update: February 15, 2024

Last full literature search: June 2023

We are grateful to Donald I. Abrams, MD, for his review of an earlier version of this handbook.

CancerChoices provides information about integrative in cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care. We review complementaryin cancer care, complementary care involves the use of therapies intended to enhance or add to standard conventional treatments; examples include supplements, mind-body approaches such as yoga or psychosocial therapy, and acupuncture therapies and self-care lifestyle actions and behaviors that may impact cancer outcomes; examples include eating health-promoting foods, limiting alcohol, increasing physical activity, and managing stress practices to help patients and professionals explore and integrate the best combination of conventionalthe cancer care offered by conventionally trained physicians and most hospitals; examples are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and complementary therapies and practices for each person.

Our staff have no financial conflicts of interest to declare. We receive no funds from any manufacturers or retailers gaining financial profit by promoting or discouraging therapies mentioned on this site.