A unique online support group opens its doors once a month.
The support group, which will be conducted online, will give men the opportunity to talk about their concerns about prostate cancer whilst also offering support to one another.
Prostate Cancer UK reports that 1 man will die every 45 minutes from prostate cancer – being more than 11,000 men in the UK each year.
Ann Innes, Support Group Development Manager at Prostate Cancer UK explains the importance of the group:
Although there are many prostate cancer support groups around the UK, we know that some gay and bisexual men may not feel comfortable about discussing some of their concerns or asking certain types of questions in these groups. So we wanted to offer an alternative for people who would like to speak to others with similar experiences but who for whatever reason could not or do not want to utilise a face to face group.
The next session will take place on Wednesday January 17th at 7pm. Sessions will take place for an hour, and will be conducted on the third Thursday of every month. Those who want to drop-in to the session can do so via a computer, tablet or phone. Participants can choose to dial in by video or by audio only, if they prefer not to be seen on screen. Additionally, men can join anonymously.
Martin Wells, 63 from Burnley, is gay and was diagnosed with localised prostate cancer in 2007. He talks of how prostate cancer affected him, and the benefits to the support group:
Going through prostate cancer and the side effects of treatment really affected me psychologically. I desperately needed emotional support to help me get through this difficult time and there weren’t any services near me that focused on psychosexual health.
The fact there is not tailored support for men like me in every area of the country, encouraged me to set up my own support groups. Talking to other men who could speak to me on my terms felt incredible. That’s why Prostate Cancer UK’s new online discussion group is a great opportunity for gay, bisexual men and MSM to come together and discuss any topics on prostate cancer without judgement, wherever they live.
I would encourage anyone who has any concerns or needs support to join up and share how they feel.