nursing care plan for prostate cancer

Building a Personalised Nursing Care Plan for Prostate Cancer

As per the World Cancer Research Fund, prostate cancer is the 2nd most prevalent cancer type in men after skin cancer. 

Since many prostate cancers are not life-threatening, a lot of patients seek to avoid treatment at the cost of multiple side effects. However, once the cancer extends to other parts of the body, survival rates drop significantly. This poses a big dilemma: Should they dodge treatment and face side effects or undergo surgery and face challenges that arise from it? 

In this challenging time, focusing on designing a personalised nursing care plan for prostate cancer patients aiming to enhance both their physical and mental well-being is essential for the patient in need.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Bouncing to the basics, cancer is a disease which includes abnormally large growth of the body's cells. When cancer starts in the prostate (male reproductive system), it causes prostate cancer. 

Medical professionals employ the Gleason score and Cancer Staging method to determine the severity of the cancer. While the Gleason score reveals to the healthcare provider how abnormal the patient's cancer cells are, Cancer Staging exhibits how much the cancer has spread in the patient's body. 

Although symptoms rarely accompany early-stage prostate cancer, the progression of the disease may cause the following signs:

  1. Frequent urination accompanied by blood
  2. Loss of bladder and bowel control
  3. Lower back, hip, or chest pain

Patients suspected to be developing prostate cancer are put through screening tests for diagnosis, such as Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, MRI tests, and Prostate Biopsy. Treatment pathways for the patient are dependent on the patient's condition, i.e. how much their cancer has spread and how fast it is spreading. It should be noted that while some patients may require only one treatment, many need to go through several procedures to be cancer-free. 

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The Need for a Personalised Nursing Care Plan for Prostate Cancer

It is important to note that a one-size-fits-all approach to prostate cancer treatment is not feasible since the cancer manifests differently in each person. 

A generic treatment plan comes with numerous drawbacks. For instance, a generic care plan applied to a patient with a slow-growing cancer can be unnecessarily aggressive and may subject the patient to problematic side effects and treatment burdens. Moreover, a generic plan may fail to tackle a patient's specific issue, leading to inadequate treatment of the disease. 

A holistic nursing care plan for prostate cancer involves a blend of therapies and remedies that need to be specifically tailored to the patient's needs and even wants. A personalised and specific care plan is crucial to develop interventions that directly address the patient's goals. Such an approach is highly advantageous in avoiding unnecessary complications in minimal time. 

For instance, instead of jumping onto a one-size-fits-all treatment approach, focusing on designing a treatment with a straightforward road map based on the patient's cancer staging and Gleason score reduces the treatment burden for the patient and saves time and efforts of all medical professionals involved. 

A Step-By-Step Guide to Designing the Perfectly Personalised Nursing Care Plan for Prostate Cancer Patients

Nursing care plans are key to designing a patient-centred treatment. For a smooth treatment journey, the nurse must have effective communication, critical thinking skills, goal planning, and intuition to develop a personalised nursing care plan for prostate cancer patients. 


First and foremost, the patient should be evaluated for prostate cancer with either one or a combination of the assessment methods mentioned previously. While each healthcare institution has its unique procedure for this stage, generally, nurses gather both subjective (in-depth explanation of problems faced by the patient) and objective data (e.g., height and weight) from their patients. 


As per the results acquired from the assessments, nurses can then form a nurse's diagnosis. This stage sets the foundation for developing nursing actions and developing a personalised nursing care plan for prostate cancer. It is important to consider the patient's mental well-being and make sure to comfort and console the patient should they receive a positive diagnosis. 


Planning the care plan for the prostate cancer patient involves a high amount of critical thinking. After carefully considering the patient's overall condition, realistic objectives are set for them to achieve the desired long-term and short-term goals. Planning can be done using the SMART technique explained below. 

  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Achievable
  • R - Realistic
  • T - Time-bound


This stage involves conducting the plan as per the doctor's orders and confirmation. For prostate cancer patients, there are several primary interventions that nurses need to enforce: pain assessment, adjusting the resting position, listening, cluster care, controlling falls, and fluid intake.


In the final stage of the nursing care plan for prostate cancer, the healthcare provider should assess whether the intended objective has been achieved. On that basis, they should decide the next steps to be taken. 

Common Challenges Encountered by Patients of Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer is a debilitating disease that comes with several obstacles to one's physical and mental health. 

Naturally, prostate cancer comes with immense pain. The care plan should include pain management strategies based on the patient's specific experiences. Moreover, urinary incontinence is quite common and can be a source of shame or embarrassment. 

A prostate cancer diagnosis per se can be overwhelming, leading to potential anxiety, depression, social isolation or other mental health issues. Healthcare providers must ensure mental health services for the patient and should encourage the patient to join support groups. The nursing care plan should emphasise the provision of emotional support from all professionals involved in the treatment. 

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A prostate cancer diagnosis can be incredibly daunting with the numerous mental and physical challenges it comes with. A generic, one-size-fits-all is not the best approach to pursue for such a condition. 

By adopting a more patient-centred approach and designing a personalised nursing care plan for prostate cancer, medical professionals can enable their patients to walk through their journey with great confidence, ensuring their well-being throughout. 


What are the nursing diagnoses for prostate cancer?

A nursing diagnosis refers to a clinical observation of an individual's potential health issues. Common nursing diagnoses for prostate cancer include deformed body image, diarrhoea, damaged skin integrity, pain, fatigue, bleeding, and infection, among others. 

What is a nursing care plan for cancer?

A nursing care plan refers to the development of a strategy to effectively care for a patient throughout their disease and is a crucial element of the nursing process. 

What is the best prostate cancer diagnosis?

The most accurate and effective method to diagnose prostate cancer is prostate biopsy. However, due to its invasive nature, alternate screening methods are employed first. 

Huda Fatima

A passionate bookworm, Huda has always dreamt of sculpting a reader's imagination. Driven by an everlasting passion for language, she strives to craft captivating narratives, twisting, and combining the words she holds much love for, taking her readers on cultural journeys around the globe.

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