Resources for Caregivers & Loved Ones

Caring for someone with prostate cancer can be very difficult. You are not alone.

CC and his family

The term caregiver describes the informal, unpaid role of taking care of a loved one with a serious disease or disability. Caregivers can be friends or family of someone with prostate cancer. They may take on many roles. When someone you love is diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may find that you quickly have to become an information specialist, financial advisor, medical translator, and a source for emotional support. ZERO celebrates the role you play and respects what you do to support your loved one with prostate cancer.

Caregiving at the Time of Diagnosis

Elderly white couple in a pensive mood and holding hands

A prostate cancer diagnosis can be scary. There are usually no symptoms at the time of diagnosis, so hearing the words ‘you have prostate cancer’ may be a shock. It is okay to let yourself be upset and fearful. Let your loved one take the time he needs to work through the news while you provide support.

Learn About Prostate Cancer

Research as much about prostate cancer as you can. Your knowledge will help you talk to doctors, understand different treatment options, and be supportive while you make decisions together.

A good place to start is the About Prostate Cancer section of the ZERO website. There you'll find information about prostate cancer treatments, side effects, as well as prostate cancer resources. For every recommended treatment, it helps to know about possible side effects. It is also important to discuss the possibility of recurrence with your doctor. This knowledge may not soften the effects of prostate cancer, but it will help you face the future with courage and hope.

Everyone’s cancer is different, so the best place to learn about your loved one’s specific prostate cancer is at your doctor’s office. Visit our Questions For Your Doctor section to view, print, or download resources to help you talk with the doctor. Consider a second or even a third opinion with both urologists and oncologists.

Communicate and Work Together

Even prostate cancer cannot destroy the bond between you and your loved one. You are stronger when you work as a team and open up to each other. It is important to communicate and support each other throughout the journey. Talk about your concerns with your loved one and show that you care.

Be there with your loved one at the doctor appointments. He may need you to remind him what questions to ask, to keep notes, or simply to hold his hand. It may help you feel empowered and prepared for the future to make a treatment plan together.

Be Understanding and Patient

Know that you are not alone—and most importantly, ensure that your loved one knows that you are there for support.

Your loved one may sometimes want to talk to his doctor alone so he can address his questions and fears without upsetting you. You are still an important part of his prostate cancer journey.

Managing Finances

In addition to learning about the disease, you may also have to learn about managing the costs of treating the disease. Fortunately there are many resources available and people to help. Some ideas that could be helpful include:

  • Be in touch with your insurance provider to learn about what is covered.
  • Try to keep notes from conversations with the doctors, insurance, and other specialists.
  • Keep in contact with your hospital’s social worker, patient navigator, or financial advisor to see if they have resources for financial assistance, payment plans, or reduced rates.
  • Set aside some time every week to sort through your bills.

You can also contact ZERO360, our free comprehensive support program that can help access financial resources and solve other financial and insurance issues relating to a prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Check out our list of financial resources.

The New Normal

In some cases, continuing care for prostate cancer simply becomes a part of a man’s life. In living with the disease, make a daily routine that works for you. Determine how best to adapt to this new normal. Many times when people are diagnosed with cancer they use it as an opportunity to make healthy life changes, such as adopting a more nutritious diet or increasing physical activity. Encourage your loved one to make healthy changes, which may help them have better outcomes and recover more quickly.

Find Support

Cancer is tough to fight. Often you may not be able to do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And when friends, family, and community members ask if they can do anything for you, say yes! Find support groups for caregivers below.

Take Care of Yourself

Set aside time in your schedule for activities that make you feel good about you. You are best able to provide your loved one with care when you are feeling good about yourself. Be kind to yourself and accept help from others. See this article for more on the importance of taking care of yourself and avoiding caregiver burnout.


Caregiver support groups

You provide emotional support to your loved one, but his journey can be tough on you, too. Consider finding emotional support for yourself in the form of a friend, counselor, or support group. There are many services and programs available to help caregivers. We encourage you to take advantage of these resources for yourself. ZERO’s Us TOO Support Group network has virtual groups specifically for caregivers.

Caregiver Megan Robertson

Conversations with Caregivers: Town Hall

Caregivers play a pivotal role in the prostate cancer journey. ZERO’s Vice President of Patient Programs and Education, Shelby Moneer and a panel of caregivers engage in a casual conversation, sharing their experiences.

Additional resources

You are not alone. There are many helpful resources for caregivers, both at ZERO and other organizations.