In September of 2017, Dr. David Samadi opened at Lenox Hill a Prostate Cancer Support Group aimed at providing the emotional support his patients and their families so desperately need when facing this life changing disease. In addition to the physical healthcare provided at Lenox Hill’s Prostate Cancer Center, Dr. Samadi considers that talking to men with similar diagnosis, that go through the same experiences and have to make the same decisions, can be a form of therapy both for the men suffering from this terrible disease and their close ones.
Dealing with prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men after lung cancer, is no small task. The amount and responsibility of the decisions men are faced with can be a burden that’s way too heavy to carry on by oneself. Having family and friends that can help and offer support is definitely helpful, but they won’t be able to grasp all the emotions that the patient goes through. It is not uncommon for men to go through denial, anger, depression and other feelings that make them incapable of dealing with the situation. In severe cases, talking to a therapist or psychologist can be beneficial in coping with the diagnosis. In most cases, as in ordinary life situations, talking to people who share our feelings because they have experienced, more or less, the same ups and downs as us, has been proven to be an efficient manner of overcoming obstacles we might meet in our lives.
Research that compared differences between support group participants and non-participants highlight the general benefit that participation in these groups has. Even though this is the case, attendance is relatively low. Acknowledging the importance of support groups, Dr Samadi considers Lenox Hill Prostate Cancer Department to be the perfect place for patients and their families to meet and exchange experiences. The aim of the group is to connect survivors of prostate cancer, recently diagnosed ones and men going through treatment to inspire a positive mental outlook, provide encouragement and emphasize on the importance of being aware of the many effects of prostate cancer and implications of it on the rest of the patient’s life.
Going to a prostate cancer support group like that at Lenox Hill Hospital can be an important way of improving well-being, sharing feelings and overcoming the difficulties that may come up. Doctor Samadi says that “When facing a major illness or stressful life change, you don’t want to go through it alone. That is where a support group can help. By forming a prostate cancer support group, men can meet together to discuss their experiences, share ideas and to provide emotional support for one another. Men need to know they are not isolated and that there are other men who have similar challenges. Support groups are ideal for being a safe place where men can open up with the comfort of knowing that everything that is said within the support group will be kept confidential.”
Groups for prostate cancer often form a powerful community between members, be them patients or families and friends. At meetings, the people participating take the stand and bravely share their experiences in order for other people to learn from them, ask questions and, not lastly, for them to feel relieved of their emotional burden and leave the meeting feeling even stronger.
“The group will be a support system for men who have to go through this disease, their family members and friends that don’t give up on encouraging their loved ones that go through this ordeal. The meetings will be open to anyone who shares these same attitudes and wants to reach out to others in the same situation.” dr. Samadi says about the Lenox Hill Hospital support group.