The news that both Stephen Fry and Bill Turnbull have prostate cancer has provided a reminder, if any were needed, that the disease is still a major issue for men all around the world. In fact in the UK alone, 40,000 men are diagnosed with the disease each year and there are over 330,000 that are currently living with or after prostate cancer. Unfortunately, these figures mean that prostate cancer is now the UK’s most common form of cancer in men.
If you have been diagnosed with the disease, or are close to someone who has, it will naturally have a major effect on your life. Thankfully there is much support available in the form of online communities, telephone helplines and financial assistance provided by major charities such as Prostate Cancer UK, Macmillan and Cancer Research UK.
There are also numerous support groups that meet in and around the Essex area. These groups are run by smaller charities or hospital patient groups and allow attendees to meet other people diagnosed with the disease and discuss matters that are affecting them. In this article, we have tried to collate a list of these groups and provide information of where and when they meet.
Association of Prostate Patients in London and Essex (APPLE) – As their name suggests, this is a group for people based in both Essex and London. They meet on the second Monday of each month between 7.45 – 9pm at the Fullwell Cross Library in Barkingside, IG6 2EA. For more information, please phone Jane Smith on 07505 816973 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cambridgeshire Prostate Cancer Support Association (CambsPSA) – The CambsPSA group is a charity that has been set up by a small group of prostate cancer patients based in East Anglia. They meet on the fourth Thursday of each month for social gatherings or to listen to invited guest speakers. Meetings are held at the Cambridge Cancer Help Centre, 120 Cambridge Road, Great Shelford, Cambridge, CB22 5JT and take place at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to attend, there is no fee or admission charge, they invite people to come along to see if they can help them. If you have any questions, general enquiries can be sent to: email@example.com. The group also have a Facebook page with details on meetings.
Cancer Discussion Group for Education Reassurance Support (CADGERS) – CADGERS is a support group for anyone who has been affected by a urological cancer. This means that both patients and family members of those affected by cancer of the prostate, kidney, bladder, penis or testicles can attend. Meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month (6-8pm) at Southend Hospital Education Centre, which can be found at the rear of the Hospital. For more information on the group please visit their website.
East Suffolk Prostate Cancer Support Group – This is a group that aims to support the people of East Suffolk. Both patients and family members are welcome to attend. Meetings take place every two months and are held at the Lecture Theatre, Postgraduate Centre, Ipswich Hospital at 7:00pm – 8:30pm. At meetings Guest speakers give presentations, after which refreshments are available and the group is free to talk amongst themselves about their problems and matters relevant to them. For more information please visit the group’s website.
North East Essex Urology Cancer Support group – Meeting at the Training Rooms of Colchester General Hospital, on the first Wednesday of every month (6-8pm), this is a support group open to patients, relatives and carers. For more information please call 01206 742964. Please note, there are no meetings scheduled for August or January.
Proactive – Currently meeting Fridays at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Epping, ProActive is a self help group for prostate cancer patients that offers support to patients and their families. Although they meet in Epping, the group has members from Bishop’s Stortford, Broxbourne, Harlow, Loughton and Ongar. More information, including contact details, can be found on their website.
Prostate Health Advice Support and Education (P.H.A.S.E.) – Meetings take place at the Harold Wood Neighbourhood Centre, on the last Friday of each month (except August) from 7 to 9pm. For more information please contact Rob Cornes on 020 3745 7318 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Walnut Club – A support group, based at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, who aim to provide both mutual and professional support for those who have been diagnosed or those under investigation for prostate cancer. The group holds meetings on the last Monday of the month, from 5-7pm and you do not have to be a patient at Broomfield to attend. For more information, including contacts, please visit the group’s website.
If you do not live near the Essex region, there are many more support groups based all the over the UK. These groups can be found using the Prostate Cancer UK website local support finder.