Joining a Support Group for Prostate Cancer

They can be a great source of information and encouragement

As you manage your advanced prostate cancer, you may find support from many sources, including family, friends, doctors, your treatment team, and patient advocacy groups. Support groups for prostate cancer give you the opportunity to spend time with men who share similar experiences and can understand firsthand what you’re going through.1,2

A prostate cancer support group can give you:

  • A chance to talk about your disease and ask questions
  • Help coping with advanced prostate cancer, such as how to share
    news of your disease with others
  • Help dealing with practical problems, such as getting to and from
    doctor visits
  • A supportive environment to recognize milestones in treatment

Not all support groups meet in person. If you’re someone who doesn’t like being in groups of people or you live in a rural area, you may want to consider an online support group. This can offer you the same benefits from the convenience of your computer.

There are numerous prostate cancer communities and support groups that you can find online. Facebook and Twitter are two popular ways in which to search for, follow, and participate in these support groups and communities. Organizations that offer online social networking communities and support groups for prostate cancer often display Facebook and Twitter icons. Simply click on those icons to join their group or follow their organization.

Us TOO International and Men’s Health Network are two of the many organizations you can contact online.

What should I ask before joining a prostate cancer support group?

Joining a support group for prostate cancer can be a little intimidating. The National Cancer Institute suggests that prior to joining a prostate cancer support group, you ask the contact person some simple questions. This can help you understand the purpose of the group and whether it will be a good fit for your individual needs and goals.2

Questions to ask:

  • How large is the group?
  • Who attends (survivors, family members, others)?
  • Is it specifically for prostate cancer?
  • What is the age range?
  • How long are the meetings?
  • How often does the group meet?
  • How long has the group been together?
  • Who leads the group?
  • What is the format of the meetings?
  • Is the main purpose to share feelings, or do people
    also offer tips to solve common problems?

You don’t have to brave advanced prostate cancer alone. Sharing your experiences and concerns about how it affects both you and your family with others experiencing the same issues can give you the perspective you need to make informed decisions about your health.

  • Do Not Take If
    • You should not take LUPRON DEPOT if you have had any type of allergic reaction to LUPRON DEPOT or similar drugs.
    • Females who are or may become pregnant should not receive any formulation of LUPRON DEPOT.

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

  • Before Starting
    • Talk to your doctor about your medical history and all other medicines that you take.
    • Increased risk of heart attack, sudden death, and stroke can occur in men using LUPRON DEPOT. Discuss this increased risk with your doctor before starting treatment and report any new symptoms during treatment.
    • LUPRON DEPOT can affect the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor must determine if the benefits of using LUPRON DEPOT outweigh the risks, especially if you have congenital long QT syndrome, abnormal blood tests for electrolytes, congestive heart failure, or if you take medications to regulate your heartbeat.
    • Convulsions have been observed in patients taking leuprolide acetate, including patients who have a history of seizures, epilepsy, or brain disorders (related to blood vessels, nerves, or tumors), and in those taking medications associated with convulsions. Convulsions have also been reported in patients without any of these conditions.

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

  • What to Expect
    • LUPRON DEPOT causes an increase in testosterone during the first few weeks of therapy.
      • Some men may experience temporary new or worsening symptoms of prostate cancer, including urinary symptoms and/or bone pain.
      • If your cancer has spread to the spine or urinary tract, urinary blockage or pressure on the spine may occur and can sometimes lead to paralysis, which may be life-threatening.
      • You may require close medical attention during the first few weeks of therapy. Notify your doctor if you develop any new or worsened symptoms after beginning LUPRON DEPOT treatment.
    • High blood sugar and increased risk of diabetes can occur in men using LUPRON DEPOT. Your doctor will monitor your blood sugar during treatment.
    • Regular blood tests are needed to check your testosterone and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.
    • LUPRON DEPOT may cause impotence.

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

  • Side Effects
    • The most common side effects of LUPRON DEPOT include hot flashes/sweats; injection site reactions/pain; general pain; swelling; testicular shrinkage; difficulty urinating; fatigue/weakness; headache; and joint, gastrointestinal, and respiratory problems.

    For more information, talk with your healthcare provider.

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

  • Helpful Resources

    You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    If you cannot afford your medication, contact www.pparx.org for assistance.

    View the full Prescribing Information for LUPRON DEPOT at www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/
    lupronuro_pi.pdf
    .

    Reference:
    LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for
    1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month,
    30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

Print
Safety Facts
  • LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for 1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month, 30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month administration are prescribed for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
  • LUPRON DEPOT is a prescription medication that must be administered in your doctor’s office.
Reference:
LUPRON DEPOT 7.5 mg for 1-month, 22.5 mg for 3-month, 30 mg for 4-month, and 45 mg for 6-month [package insert].

References:

  1. National Cancer Institute. When Someone You Love Has Advanced Cancer. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 2012. NIH
    Publication No. 12–5727.
  2. National Cancer Institute. Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 2010. NIH
    Publication No. 10–2424.