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Give strength, do not give up: The point of the support group is to support each other – even in difficult times. © iStock/vadimguzhva, Warchi

The self-help group Prostate Cancer Stuttgart goes unusual ways. Read why the group recommends personal conversations even before the therapies begin – and has also set up an additional very active women’s group.

The diagnosis of prostate cancer can be better dealt with in conversation with those affected than alone. And prostate cancer also affects the partner, of course. Of these two principles, the Self-help group pro-static cancer Stuttgart convinced. "That is why we always advise to come early – even before the treatment – to the group and To seek the conversation", says Helmut Stumpf, 2. Chairman and public relations officer of the self-help group Prostatakrebs Stuttgart e.V. "And best of all, the partners or a confidant come along right away."

In the run-up to the therapy the contact is already helpful

"Prostate is not just a male thing," emphasizes Helmut Stumpf. "Both are always affected. That’s why it’s important to Partner comes with in the group." The self-help group has set itself the goal of informing those affected and their wives, to help them with their problems and concerns, to accompany, help and simply be there. "This is especially important in the beginning," says Helmut Stumpf. "The information is still fresh and often undigested."

How do I find the right group?

Who looks for the connection to a group of self-helps, should examine itself first whether he or she can bring itself also sufficiently actively into such a group. Outspoken social grouches will seldom really feel comfortable in a group that is about sharing even very personal issues. The other questions that sufferers should ask themselves before actively joining such a group are:

    What do I expect from the work in a self-help group for me in concrete terms?? Is such a group able to give me exactly this information that I hope for my disease?

In the initial discussions, the Findings discussed again and treatments can be weighed up against each other. This also involves explaining all the treatment options in detail once again and discussing in detail the consequences for future life planning.

The need for confidentiality determines the conversation

"The initiative to visit the self-help group often comes from the partners," says Helmut Stumpf. "The women are essentially interested in what they can do to help their husbands recover as quickly as possible. That is why the first contact usually involves the Six-eye conversation conducted with us." In this conversation it is also pointed out that the two chairmen are always available for a personal or telephone conversation.

"The Sexuality is always a topic in these discussions for the men," reports Helmut Stumpf. "The women are much more relaxed. For them, health is in the foreground." After these discussions, the couples are then well prepared to have the further discussions with the doctors in order to come to a joint therapy decision to come.

After the treatments there are still many questions

During and after the treatments, the self-help group is available for advice and support. In the discussions, it is repeatedly emphasized how important the physical fitness and a strong pelvic floor are. "That’s why we advise it is essential to discuss with the doctor how the operation can be well prepared," emphasizes Helmut Stumpf. "The same applies to an Rehabilitation. This should also be completed in any case."

The experienced 2. Chairman adds that he has the impression that the Tips on rehab and sports are often better accepted by patients when they are addressed by fellow sufferers rather than by doctors and therapists.

The work in the group clarifies what each patient can do for themselves

The self-help group Prostate Cancer Stuttgart e.V. has many active members. Up to 80 people come to the monthly meetings in Stuttgart. They inform themselves in lectures about new therapies and treatments. During the exchange of experiences at topic tables, the women’s group meets separately to discuss what their contribution can be to better cope with the disease together.

In addition to the typical topics of a prostate disease, the following topics are discussed again and again general topics of lifestyle accepted in the case of a cancer illness. "In this way, we want to continue to span the arc," emphasizes Helmut Stumpf. "Also in the women’s group, topics aside from prostate cancer are discussed and deepened time and again."

Routine quickly catches up with patients

Once the acute treatment has been completed, the problems of everyday life come more to the fore. Very important is the Dealing with potency and continence. Here, too, the support group is ready with advice and tips.

"These topics are of course an integral part of our information and education work," says Helmut Stumpf. "The discussions range from medications to mechanical aids. They naturally also include the other and a a new way of dealing with sexua-lity with a. We cooperate here with the Stuttgart self-help group Erectile Dysfunction."

Remained motivated to get involved

"From the very beginning, the course of my disease was not easy, nor was it easy to cope with," says Helmut Stumpf, looking back on his life Your own medical history. There’s no question about it – it’s easy to understand when you consider the circumstances surrounding the disease: "I was just 53 years old when I received the diagnosis of prostate cancer."

The self-help group has always supported and sustained Helmut Stumpf and his wife. "My current involvement in the group is my thank you to the self-help group. Besides, it keeps me fit and it makes me very happy when I see again and again how men and women through our work regain a bit of confidence."

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