Jan. 01, 2009 -- Question: How do I talk to my family and friends about a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and should I have a family member come to doctor appointments with me?
Answer: I generally have all of the men that I see have a significant other or their wives accompany them. I think it's best that they have someone in the room who can hear all of the information, because quite frankly they're a little bit anxious and they don't record everything that's being told to them. So it's very helpful to have another set of ears in the room.
And secondly I think that the accompanying person sometimes has excellent questions which they ask the physician that may not have been thought of by the patient. So I encourage people to bring a significant other with them, and in addition I think they need to talk to their family openly and honestly, because to some degree that communication decreases the anxiety and concern they have about the diagnosis they were just given.