Living With Cancer


We are a largely dominant sector industry and yet one of the most silent when it comes to health and wellbeing issues. We’re addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. Many men are dying young and we shouldn’t stay silent about these key topics.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. More than 47,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that's 129 men every day. Every 45 minutes one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 11,500 men every year. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Around 400,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

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Being diagnosed with cancer can come as unexpected news and can be difficult to cope with financially, emotionally and physically. 1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. There are more than 200 different types of cancer, and each is diagnosed and treated in a particular way. Every cancer treatment can cause side effects or changes to your body and how you feel. Changes to your physical health depend on several factors, including the cancer’s stage, the length and dose of treatment, and your general health. Having cancer affects you in many different ways. For example, life with cancer and the demands of treatment are often stressful – for both you and those close to you. Treatment for this type of cancer may also cause lasting changes to your body’s appearance or function. These are challenges you do not have to face alone. A recent example where the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) was able to be of assistance was to Adam and his family.

Adam was referred to EIC by MacMillan after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer in May 2018 and undergoing surgery. Adam had served thirty years in our industry and underwent surgery to remove the rectal cancer. Adam now has a stoma bag, as like many people who have been treated for colorectal cancer, he has difficulty eating and the physical side effects can last after treatment ends. Adam has lost over 3 stone in weight and he needs to change his clothes and bedding frequently due to his condition. Treating long-term side effects is an important part of survivorship care.

In addition to Adam’s battle with cancer, he has a 14-year-old son who suffers from Aniridia, which is a rare condition where the iris (the coloured part of your eye) has not formed properly, so it may be missing or underdeveloped. Most people with aniridia have a central part of their retina that is not fully developed, and many have nystagmus, a constant and involuntary movement of the eyes since birth ("Aniridia", 2019).

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Adams son is registered blind but does have some sight. He now attends a mainstream school and receives one to one school support.

Cancer treatment can be expensive. It is often a big source of stress and anxiety. In addition to treatment costs, many people find they have extra, unplanned expenses related to their care. For some people, the high cost of medical care stops them from following or completing their cancer treatment plan. This can put their health at risk and may lead to higher costs in the future.

EIC is on hand to help during tough times in order to make it that little bit easier. The support EIC provides comes in the form of its Employee and Family Support Programme (EFP) which offers practical assistance, financial grants and other help to support both the person directly affected and their family members. These services are funded by generous donations and fundraising activities.
Due to the many hospital appointments Adam stopped working in 2004 and he and his family have been managing on benefits. The family contacted the charity for support towards the cost of new beds. Their son was sleeping on a child's bed which has a futon rather than a proper mattress and the mattress on their bed, was 15 years old and unhygienic.

The charity sourced and funded two beds in support of the family’s circumstances. The assistance in the purchase of the new beds has been invaluable to improving their quality of life, as sleep is an important part of both physical and mental health.

While we sleep, the brain and body do a number of important jobs that help us stay in good health and function at our best. Getting the sleep, we need improves our ability to learn, remember, and solve problems, it helps to lower blood pressure and gives the heart and blood vessels the rest they need. Also, for both Adam and his son, sleep can help the repair of cells and tissues, the immune system and appetite.

It is shown that sleep disorders are more common in people with cancer, with as many as half of patients with cancer having problems sleeping.

Providing new beds for Adam and his son has been a wonderful benefit to their health and wellbeing.

If you or someone you know is living with cancer and requires support, please contact the EIC support team:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0800 652 1618.

If you would like to help people fighting cancer, why not sign up to become a partner of EFP? Perhaps you would like to raise much-needed funds to help other families in hard times. For more information contact Jess Vailima on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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When faced with the loss of a loved one, the last thing someone wants to think about is the expense related to a funeral. Often the cost comes as a shock to the family. However, it’s an expense that we can’t avoid. Being prepared and understanding the costs involved can help the process of planning for a funeral a little bit easier.

Through the Employee and assistance programme (EAP), the Electrical Industries Charity(EIC) offers vital support services including will writing assistance, face to face and telephone counselling, legal and debt advice, financial grants or assistance and practical support to allow those who are struggling with the loss of a loved one the support and direction they need in their time of bereavement.

A recent example where EIC was able to offer funeral support was to Kevin’s family when he suddenly and tragically passed away.

Kevin worked in the industry for many years in a variety of capacities and then sadly and unexpectedly, Kevin suddenly passed away at the early age of 52 from a brain haemorrhage. Kevin leaves behind an ex-wife and four much loved daughters, two are grown and living independent lives and his other two daughters reside with their mum. The family were struggling with the shocking news of losing their father at such a young age and with no financial plans in place for his funeral, the family were anxious and concerned at being able to cover the cost of Kevin’s funeral.

It was Kevin’s niece who initially contacted the charity on behalf of his daughters asking for financial support to cover the funeral expense. Kevin’s niece confirmed that Kevin's children did not have the financial means to cover the cost of the funeral, this was putting the family under great stress as they wanted their father to have a peaceful funeral.


The EIC agreed to cover the cost of the funeral, through its EAP programme. This was a great support to the family and Kevin’s niece requested to include EIC’s details in their service sheet so that attendees could make charitable contributions to the charity who had made this uncertain time for the family a little easier with their support. The money raised was put back into the services we provide our deserving industry members.

Death can be an expensive business. According to a study from Sunlife, the cost of the average funeral now stands at just under £5,000, up a staggering 67 percent since 2008. And with inflation up by just 25 percent over the same period, the cost of dying is now outpacing the cost of living.

Sunlife says those who face significant hardship in meeting the cost of a funeral, have to find an average of £2,775 to meet the shortfall between the funds left by the deceased and the final cost, with 40 per cent turning to loans and credit cards to pay the bill.

Those in receipt of government support can apply for a grant called a Funeral Payment from their local authority. This can help to cover burial or cremation fees as well as transport to and from the cemetery. However, with the average grant coming in at £983 last year, families often still must find a significant sum.

If you are able to ease the burden on friends and family when you pass away, one of the best ways to do so is through a funeral plan. These allow you to pay for a funeral with a lump sum or over a period of months or years, while ensuring that you get the exact send-off you want.
Thanks to support from the industry, every year the Electrical Industries Charity is able to offer hundreds of our industry colleagues both practical and emotional support during their time of devastating bereavement.

If you or someone you know is struggling to deal with the loss of a loved one and requires support, please contact the EIC support team: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0800 652 1618.

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Breaking up with your partner is always painful, and more so if there are children involved.

Fathers are often given the short end of the stick. Whether it is the assumption that they were the breadwinner in the Family household and should be responsible for paying alimony and child support or that they are not equally as capable of providing a loving, nurturing, and stable environment for a child to live and grow in, it can be a challenge to cope with.

This can lead to all sorts of physical and mental symptoms, resulting from the experience. It can weigh on a father, unable to spend the time that they want with their children. Their relationship with their children can often deteriorate, due to parental alienation. Whether it is a custodial mother speaking negatively about their father or other authoritative adults in a child’s life talking negatively about a father, it can wreak havoc in the parent-child relationship, and this can lead many fathers into a state of depression.

This was the case for Roger, who was originally referred to The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC), in November 2018 following an attempted suicide and breakdown in his mental health. The crisis had been triggered by the breakdown of his marriage and the difficulties he was facing in seeing his daughter.

Unfortunately, Roger’s estranged wife had decided to take their daughter and move back to her parents, which although was still local to where Roger was living, his wife was making it difficult for Roger to see his daughter. The unrest in their relationship and barriers created in seeing his daughter has caused a great deal of emotional distress for Roger and he felt he had no choice but to engage with a solicitor and take legal advice and his wife was also going down the same route.

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It is important for both parents to understand and respect the place they have in the lives of their shared children. When one parent refuses to acknowledge that, the lives of the children are worse off for it, and for many fathers, that is the unfortunate reality that they have to fight to fix. In Roger’s case his estranged wife was unfortunately using his fragile emotional state and mental health as an armament regarding the divorce and to make unreasonable demands concerning Rogers access and custody to their daughter.

Roger is struggling to cope with the treatment he is receiving in this situation and loss of access to his daughter, but he is working hard to improve his emotional and mental health. The Electrical Industries Charity have been able to provide vital support to Roger through legal advice and ongoing one to one counselling, which he has found to be instrumental to his mental health and wellbeing.

No father wants to be away from his children, yet nearly 1 in 3 children now live without a father in the UK – this is nearly 4 million fatherless children. Every day 200 children will lose contact with their father & other family members in secret family courts.

Through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), the Charity is able to offer hundreds of our industry colleagues vital support services including face to face and telephone counselling, legal and debt advice, financial grants and assistance, both practical and emotional. We can support both men and women equally during and after a relationship breakdown and a child custody battle, to help give them hope for a happier future.

If you would like to show your support and give someone like Roger, the hope and support they need to continue being an important father figure in the lives of their children, then sign up to become a partner of EIC’s Employee Assistance Programme today or take part in powerLottery by downloading the EIC’s powerLottery app and tap the app to play.

Additionally, if you or someone you know has been affected by a relationship breakdown and require support, please contact the EIC support team: 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0800 652 1618.

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What is the prostate?
The prostate is a gland. It is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as you get older. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine (wee) out of the body. The prostate's main job is to help make semen – the fluid that carries sperm.

The most common prostate problems are an enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer.

What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. Some prostate cancer grows too slowly to cause any problems or affect how long you live. Because of this, many men with prostate cancer will never need any treatment. But some prostate cancer grows quickly and is more likely to spread. This is more likely to cause problems and needs treatment to stop it spreading. 

Signs and symptoms
Prostate cancer that’s contained inside the prostate (called localised prostate cancer or early prostate cancer) doesn’t usually cause any symptoms. That's why it's important to know about your risk.
But some men might have some urinary problems. These can be mild and happen over many years and may be a sign of a benign prostate problem, rather than prostate cancer. If you think you might be at risk of prostate cancer or are experiencing any symptoms, visit your GP or speak to our Specialist Nurses.

Are you at risk?
In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. We don't know exactly what causes prostate cancer but there are some things that may mean you are more likely to get it – these are called risk factors.

There are three main risk factors for getting prostate cancer, which are things you can't change. These are:

  • getting older – it mainly affects men aged 50 or over
  • having a family history of prostate cancer
  • being black.

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Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and your risk increases as you get older. The most common age for men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 65 and 69 years. You can get prostate cancer at any age but if you are under 50, your risk of getting prostate cancer is very low but it is possible.

Family history and genetics
Your family history is information about any health problems that have affected your family. Families have many common factors, such as their genes, environment and lifestyle. Together, these factors can help suggest if you are more likely to get some health conditions. Inside every cell in our body is a set of instructions called genes. These are passed down (inherited) from our parents. Genes control how the body grows, works and what it looks like. If something goes wrong with one or more genes (known as a gene fault or mutation), it can sometimes cause cancer.

Is prostate cancer hereditary?
If people in your family have prostate cancer or breast cancer, it might increase your own risk of getting prostate cancer. This is because you may have inherited the same faulty genes.

My father had prostate cancer. What are my risks?
• You are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has had it, compared to a man who has no relatives with prostate cancer.
• Your chance of getting prostate cancer may be even greater if your father or brother was under 60 when he was diagnosed, or if you have more than one close relative (father or brother) with prostate cancer.
• Your risk of getting prostate cancer may also be higher if your mother or sister has had breast cancer.

Although prostate cancer can run in families, having a family history doesn’t mean you will get it. But it's important to speak to your GP if you have any relatives with prostate cancer or breast cancer, as your risk of hereditary prostate cancer may be higher.

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Black men
Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men. We don’t know why, but it might be linked to genes. In the UK, about 1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. 
If you have mixed black ethnicity, you are likely to be at higher risk of prostate cancer than a white man. But we don’t know your exact risk because we don’t have enough information on prostate cancer in men with mixed black ethnicity. And we don’t know whether it makes a difference if it’s your mother or father who is black.

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There are different treatments for prostate cancer. We’ve listed them all here. You may have a choice of treatments and this will depend on the stage of your cancer.

Active surveillance
Active surveillance is a way of monitoring slow-growing localised prostate cancer, rather than treating it straight away. The aim is to avoid or delay unnecessary treatment and its side effects.

Watchful waiting
Watchful waiting is a way of monitoring prostate cancer that isn't causing any symptoms or problems. The aim is to keep an eye on the cancer over the long term and avoid treatment unless you get symptoms.

Surgery: radical prostatectomy
Information about having surgery to remove the prostate. Surgery may be a treatment option for men with localised prostate cancer.

External beam radiotherapy
External beam radiotherapy uses high energy X-ray beams to treat prostate cancer. This page is for men who are thinking of having this treatment to treat their prostate cancer.

Permanent seed brachytherapy
Permanent seed brachytherapy involves implanting tiny radioactive seeds into your prostate gland. This is also called low dose rate brachytherapy. Radiation from the seeds destroys cancer cells in the prostate. You may have this treatment on its own or together with external beam radiotherapy or hormone therapy.

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Hormone therapy
This page explains how hormone therapy treats prostate cancer, who can have hormone therapy, and the possible side effects.

High dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy
High dose-rate brachytherapy is also known as HDR brachytherapy, or temporary brachytherapy. It is a type of internal radiotherapy used to treat prostate cancer.

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
Read about using high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat prostate cancer, how it works and what the side effects are.

Cryotherapy is a treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy cancer cells. You might also hear it called cryosurgery or cryoablation.

If you have advanced prostate cancer, you may be interested in our information on abiraterone (Zytiga®), a new type of hormone therapy.

Learn about enzalutamide, a new type of hormone therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer.

Clinical trials
Clinical trials are types of medical research that test medicines, medical procedures or medical equipment. If you have prostate cancer, you might have the chance to take part in a clinical trial.

Radiotherapy for advanced prostate cancer
This page describes how radiotherapy can be used in men with advanced prostate cancer

if youve been diagnosed

If you’ve just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you might feel scared, worried, stressed or even angry. Your feelings may change over time. There’s no right way to feel and everyone reacts in their own way.

When you’re told you have cancer, it can be a shock and you might find it difficult to take everything in and cope with the information. Thinking about your cancer and possible treatments can be stressful and you may have lots of questions. You may feel anxious about the future and how having prostate cancer will affect your life and your loved ones. There are people who are there to support you and there are things you can do to help yourself. Families can also find this a difficult time and they may need support too.

How you can help yourself
Everyone has their own way of dealing with prostate cancer, but you may find some of the following suggestions helpful.

find out about your cancer

There are different treatment options for each stage of prostate cancer. Bring a list of questions to your doctor or nurse. And ask about any side effects so you know what to expect and how to manage them. This will help you decide what’s right for you.

Talk to someone
Share what you’re thinking – find someone you can talk to. It could be someone close or someone trained to listen, like a counsellor or your doctor or nurse. People involved in your care should be able to help with any questions or concerns you might have.

Set yourself some goals
Set yourself goals and things to look forward to – even if they’re just for the next few weeks or months.

Look after yourself
Take time out to look after yourself. When you feel up to it, learn some techniques to manage stress and to relax – like breathing exercises or listening to music. If you're having difficulty sleeping, talk to your doctor or nurse.

Eat a healthy, balanced diet
We don’t know for sure if any specific foods have an effect on prostate cancer. But eating well can help you stay a healthy weight, which may be important for men with prostate cancer. It’s also good for your general health and can help you feel more in control. Certain changes to your diet may also help with some side effects of treatment. Read more about having a healthy diet.

Be as active as you can
Keeping active can improve your physical strength, fitness and can lift your mood. We don’t know for sure if physical activity can also help with some side effects of treatment. Even a small amount can help. Take things at your own pace. Read more about physical activity.

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Your medical team
It could be useful to speak to your nurse, doctor, GP or anyone in your medical team. They can explain your diagnosis, treatment and side effects, listen to your concerns, and put you in touch with others who can help.

Talking to family and friends
You might be worried about telling your friends and family that you have cancer. You might be concerned about how they’ll react or if you’ll upset them. It can be difficult to know how to start a conversation. Try to find a quiet place and explain to them that you have prostate cancer. You might find it helpful to show them this information.

Ask them if they have any questions. If you don’t know the answers, you could write down their questions and ask your doctor or nurse at your next appointment. If you don’t feel able to tell your friends and family, you could ask someone you trust to tell people for you.

Macmillan Cancer Support produce information that can help you figure out where to start and make these conversations a bit easier. It includes information about talking to children.
If you have brothers or sons, you might want to talk to them about their own risk of prostate cancer. This is because men are two and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer if their father or brother has had it, compared to someone who doesn’t have any relatives who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. They might want to talk to their doctor or nurse about their situation, particularly if they are 45 or over.

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A Helpful tool, simply enter in your information regarding diagnosis and you are provided a tailored support plan in relation to nutrition, managing side effects, fitness and energy levels, get started below:

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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in UK males, accounting for around a quarter (26%) of male cases (2016). The next most common cancers in UK males are lung cancer (14%) and bowel cancer (13%). Prostate, lung and bowel cancers together account for more than half (52%) of all new cases in males in the UK. Head and neck, bladder, oesophageal cancers and leukaemia, are among the UK ten most common cancers in males.

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Bowel cancer means cancer that starts in the large bowel (colon) and the back passage (rectum). It is also known as colorectal cancer. Your treatment depends on where the cancer starts in your bowel.

The bowel is split into 2 parts - the small bowel and the large bowel. The large bowel includes the colon, the rectum and the bowel opening (anus).

This section is about colon and rectal cancer. We have separate sections about anal cancer and small bowel cancer.

Bowel Cancer

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Around one in every 16 men will be diagnosed with bowel cancer at some point in their life, making it the third most common cancer in men after prostate and lung cancer. More than 20,000 cases were recorded in the UK in 2006. As with most cancers, the majority of cases occur in the over the 50s.

Spotting it early really can make all the difference – nine out of ten cases of bowel cancer could be treated successfully if they’re caught at an early stage. The key is to be aware of what is normal for your body and report any persistent changes to your doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms to look out for are:

  • Bleeding from the bottom without a reason
  • A persistent change in bowel habits towards looser or more frequent bowel motions
  • Bloating, swelling, pain or an unexplained lump in the tummy
  • Extreme tiredness or feeling pale

If you notice any of these changes and they last for more than 4–6 weeks, play it safe – go to the doctor.

We hope that by informing men in this age group not just about the symptoms of bowel cancer, but the need to see their doctor quickly if they spot unusual changes, fewer men might die from bowel cancer.

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A major UK survey has shown that patients with urological cancer such as prostate, bladder or kidney cancer are five times more likely to commit suicide than people without cancer. The analysis also shows that cancer patients generally are around three times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, and that the proportion of attempted suicides which result in a completed or successful suicide was higher in cancer patients, with a higher proportion still in patients with urological cancers.

Severe psychological stress is one of the main side-effects of both a diagnosis of cancer and cancer treatment, with depression affecting between 5 and 25% of cancer patients, many are also affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Previous research has shown that the vast majority of cancer patients who have symptoms of depression often go untreated. This study shows a substantial increase in suicide attempts and successful suicides in cancer patients. The work is presented at the European Association of Urology conference in Copenhagen.

This is the largest UK study looking at suicide in cancer patients. The research team led by Mr Prashant Patel at the University of Birmingham retrospectively examined the records from the England and Wales Hospital Episode Statistics database, from the period 2001 to 2011. They linked this with cause of death statistics from the Office of National Statistics.

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“This is important” said first author Dr Mehran Afshar (St George’s Hospital, London), “as we know that people who attempt suicide are at higher risk of subsequently being successful in completing a suicide, and we have shown this ‘intent’ to commit to be far higher in our cancer population, thus confirming a real need to address psychological issues early on in the management of these patients”.

Dr Afshar continued “Our data confirms research from other countries that suicide rates are higher in cancer patients, and we show this to be higher particularly in patients with urological cancers. There are particular issues which are specific to this cancer group – for example, men with prostate cancer undergo treatment which can affect their bladder function, their bowel function, erectile function and libido, can result in symptoms similar to the female menopause, and entirely alter the personality, leading to relationship problems, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder”.

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Nic Cumpilido, 24, faced surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy while fighting cancer but the resulting hair loss also took its toll.

Welsh health board figures suggest men are far less likely to access hair-loss support, services or wigs during treatment. Cancer charity Maggie's Centre said they should be more routinely offered to men and urged men to be open minded.

Nic, of Bridgend, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2015 while studying at Swansea University and is now in remission. He lost hair during different stages of his treatment and it has since partially grown back, with his surgery scars visible when it is cut short.

"Losing my hair did have a big, significant impact on my confidence, I felt colder, not just physically, emotionally as well. I felt another big thing was happening to me - to get used to. I just wanted to be normal."

Screenshot 2019 10 24 at 15.57.40However, Nic tried to keep it in perspective, attempting to "look at the funny side" of the different stages of hair loss. That determination saw him have some "fun" with different hairstyles, however, hair loss arising from illness or treatment was still a taboo among men.

"Even though men don't speak about it, that says a lot about how men are dealing with it, which is not well, Men don't talk about emotions a lot anyway, so it makes sense they wouldn't really talk about hair."

Figures from four of Wales' seven local health boards show only 14 of the 1,601 patients who received wigs or hair appliances on the NHS in 2018-19 were men - that is less than 1%.

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A recent study showed approximately one-fifth of patients with cancer experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) several months after diagnosis, and many of these patients continued to live with PTSD years later.

"There needs to be greater awareness that there is nothing wrong with getting help to manage the emotional upheaval—particularly depression, anxiety, and PTSD—post-cancer."

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Is there a more challenging transition for a man than to become a new single dad with children at home? single fatherWhether you lose your spouse and the mother of your kids to death or because of a divorce and/or abandonment, adjusting to the new reality of things is a major and life-changing task.
Many newly single dads struggle to know where to start. What should be first on your list, and how do you even begin to get your arms around the rest?

As adults, we have at least learned some coping mechanisms in our lives to deal with change. Often, our children are totally unprepared for having a single dad as their primary caregiver. So as you help your children adjust, consider these suggestions.

Organizing Tips for the Single Dad
One of the biggest challenges newly single dads tell me about is the need to establish new routines when the other adult at home is not there anymore. From finding ways to grocery shop and meal plan more efficiently, to keeping cleaning and chores at home straight, to keeping school papers sorted, there is a lot of organizing to do and not as much help doing it.

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Father-headed households

400,000 families were headed by lone fathers in 2012, representing 13.5% of all single-parent households in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). With an average family size of 2.32, that figure represents 927,000 people in the UK.

Families headed by lone women tend to be slightly larger meaning that 6.7 million people were part of a household headed by a mother in 2012. The number of families headed by one parent has risen considerably since 1999 from 2.5 million to almost 3 million last year.

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While it doesn’t make it any easier on a practical level, it can be helpful to know that you are definitely not alone… In fact, around 186,000 other dads in the UK are also bringing up their children on their own. As a starting point, here are our top tips for making the transition more manageable:

1. Get support
Being a single dad can be made more difficult through feelings of isolation, which naturally arise when you may not know other fathers who are also in your position, or you find it difficult to get out and see your usual friends. Having a support network, of friends or family, is really important and not at all a reflection on how good a parent you are – everyone needs some adult company from time to time.

See if there are any single dad groups in your area – if there aren't, consider starting one!
Parenting can be difficult, and single parenting can be especially so as you carry the burden of responsibility on your own – a bit of company and support can go a long way to making it all feel a bit easier.

2. Sort out your work arrangements
Despite the increasing numbers of highly involved or single fathers, society still doesn’t seem used to seeing men as the main carer, and this can have added complications when it comes to work.

Finding a balance between earning money to care for your family and being able to parent your children can be a challenge, so it is best to tackle this head on and as early as possible.

Talk to your employer about your working schedule and the option of more flexible working. Let them know you are a single parent. Is it possible to start your working day earlier and finish earlier? Can you do some work from home?

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3. Believe in yourself and find your own way
Being a single dad can be tough, because in addition to all the practical considerations, you might feel that you have a lot of stereotypes to overcome too. You can always ignore their judgement, or if appropriate, calmly explain how they are misinformed and focus on doing what works for you and your family.

4. Know that there will be tough days...
Single parenting can be really tough – bearing that responsibility for keeping the wheels turning smoothly, day after day after day. Yes, some days can be tough and part of coping with this is by acknowledging that and making sure that we make time for some self-care as well as always remembering that tomorrow is a new day.

5. Find a way to make it work with your ex
If you ex is still involved with your children, having a way of managing this to be as straight forward as possible will help, as these arrangements can bring their own range of issues to manage and cope with.

If your children know when to expect to see their other parent, this will also help with their expectations which can help make parenting a bit more manageable too. Remember that your ex may sometimes do things which you do not approve of – cancelling visits, etc. Where possible try not to stress too much over what they do.

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If you’re anything like me, you were brought up to treat women as equals. Then, when you had kids, you did everything you could, short of breastfeeding, to help bring them up. And then your relationship goes pear-shaped and your assumptions, plans and dreams of being a family man blow up in your face.

Sadly, this is a common occurrence – but, ironically, we’ve never been better prepared to cope.
To Do Lists help, I've found. When I got divorced, I wrote a list – and the very first point was that I was going to be a good dad to my kids. Here are nine other lessons I’ve learned in the eight years since, for all you brilliant single dads out there.

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Dads House was set up in 2008 by William McGranaghan (Billy to his friends) to help single dads with the practicalities of raising their children alone.

dads house charity

There are currently over 2 million non-residential dads in the UK and over 200,000 raising their children alone. Just in London there are 20,000 dads who are the main carers for their children. We have seen a huge change in society and these figures are expected to rise dramatically in the next 5 years. After raising his own son from an early age, William realised that there was very little support for fathers. Although there were a number of organisations available to help parents, there was no support for the practical side, no one to meet up with for a coffee and chat, people that would have an understanding of their struggles.

It was Billy's dream to create a charity that could offer the support needed by single dads so he set up Dads House.

Dads House is here to help. Dont be afraid to ask, we've probably been there, and someone has helped us. Dads House has already helped many single Dads as well as their children over the last 6 years in a whole variety of ways. We are passionate and tenacious about enabling change and improving people’s potential.  Get in touch via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Telephone: 07765 183 504 or leave us a message via the contact form.

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Families Need Fathers seeks to obtain, for the children, the best possible blend of both parents in the lives of children; enough for the children to realise that both parents are fully involved in their lives. Legally, parents should be of equal status.

Responsibilities and obligations, caring and financial, should be fairly shared between the parents.
Families Need Fathers is firstly a social care organisation, helping parents whose children's relationship with them is under threat. We offer information, advice and support services for parents on how to do the best for their children. We are the only organisation that provides these services on a national basis

Aims and Objectives
Families Need Fathers is a registered UK charity which provides information and support to parents, including unmarried parents, of either sex. FNF is chiefly concerned with the problems of maintaining a child's relationship with both parents during and after family breakdown.

What we do
• We work to increase awareness of the problems of family breakdown
• We hold local self-help branch meetings throughout the UK
• We provide support to members through our internet forums
• We have a network of volunteer telephone contacts
• We run Parenting Support workshops

Our Helpline is available from 9am - 10pm Monday - Friday and from 10am - 3pm at weekends.
On Monday - Friday, between the hours of 6 pm and 10 pm, we provide more specialised support. At these times, the helpline is staffed by FNF volunteers who have experience of some of the problems that you might be facing. They may able to give you information that will enable you to progress your situation or simply to listen if you want a sympathetic ear.  Outside of these hours, our calls are taken by the charity Family Lives, whose Helpliners are trained by Family Lives and receive additional material and training from FNF on how to respond to our service users.  FNF internal Helpline volunteers are recruited from within the FNF membership and receive training from FNF as well as the Telephone Helplines Association.

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1.  https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer
2.  https://prostatecancer.careacross.com/?ap=1t1&kw=prostate%20cancer&gclid=CjwKCAjwxOvsBRAjEiwAuY7L8gm8ZyXz66tSvN_rmeczLwSTdgJ8BkpSsqkufaEkAr9fANRLoUY1xBoCzrIQAvD_BwE
3.  https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/bowel-cancer
4.  https://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2010/02/15/helping-men-to-spot-bowel-cancer-early/
5.  https://www.verywellfamily.com/adjust-to-life-as-a-single-father-1270849
6.  http://www.dadshouse.org.uk/info/15-statistics/47-single-fathers-uk-statistics
7.  https://www.dad.info/article/can-i-really-cope-as-a-single-dad

8.  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/parenting/brilliant-single-dad-man-learnt-job/
9.  https://fnf.org.uk/about-us-2/about-fnf