Psychological Care for Men with Prostate Cancer

Worldwide, millions of men live with a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Their survival rates are high because of medical advances, but quality of life in survivorship is reported by far too many as poor.

Facing the Tiger is an Australian-developed, world-leading intervention that fundamentally improves prostate cancer survivorship by embedding accessible psychological support in everyday cancer care.

Compared with men in the general population, men with prostate cancer are twice as likely to experience depression and three times more likely to experience anxiety. They have a 70% greater risk of suicide. Yet their distress is often hidden. Asking for psychological help does not come naturally to many men, which is why proactive psychological intervention at diagnosis and while undergoing treatment for prostate cancer is as vital as the drugs, surgery and other medical treatments that save lives.

Men with prostate cancer need tailored psychological support to help them explore their thoughts and emotions in response to their cancer. This psychological processing can determine whether a man and his partner find a better way forward or fall further into distress. Yet integrating such psychological care into a busy multidisciplinary cancer treatment centre or urology or general practice can be difficult. Doctors don’t often have the time to provide such support during a consultation.

The Facing the Tiger Psychological Care Approach is an easy-to-implement yet powerful tool developed out of decades of world-leading psycho-oncology research and practice by Professor Suzanne Chambers AO and colleagues. It can be easily implemented within a medical setting without the need for extra staff and emphasises the use of the Australian-developed Psychosocial Care Model for Men with Prostate Cancer and the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Essentials Framework

Here’s how it works.