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A diagnosis of cancer can be a frightening experience and you may feel quite isolated with a mix of emotions. Once diagnosed, treatment follows quickly, and this can leave you in a state of shock while also feeling very vulnerable. Discovering that you have cancer often comes out of the blue and your initial reaction to the diagnosis will be one of shock and apprehension about the consequences of having cancer. It isn’t always easy to confide in family and friends about how you feel.

As well as having to deal with your own feelings and fears, you may also find that having had a cancer diagnosis and treatment impacts on your relationships in unexpected ways, adding stress when you feel least able to cope with it. Whether at the point of diagnosis, after treatment being able to explore your concerns with someone who understands how challenging a cancer diagnosis can be, will allow you to discover your best way to adjust to and manage what has happened to you.

You may find that talking to a professional cancer counsellor can help you come to terms with how you feel. Professional cancer counsellors are aware of the feelings that you may be trying to cope with. They also have the benefit of not being part of your family or friendship group.

Psychosexual Counselling

After treatment for penile cancer men may often feel isolated and self-conscious, unable to speak up about how they are feeling or talk to their partners about their body. The aim of psychosexual counselling is to help you talk honestly and openly with your partner about how you are feeling to improve physical intimacy and help you feel more comfortable about getting intimate.

Both types of counselling service should be available at treatment centres or hospitals, and it is helpful to be aware of these services in case you need them in the future.

Orchid Male Cancer Telephone Counselling Service

In the UK Orchid Male Cancer has a free telephone counselling service for men affected by penile cancer. It offers up to six counselling sessions over the phone. It also offers a degree of anonymity which men may find beneficial, rather than talk face to face with a counsellor. For more information email robert.cornes@orchid-cancer.org.uk