New Melton support group launched for prostate cancer sufferers

John Bailey (left) and Bob White, who have started up a support group for fellow prostate cancer sufferers in Melton EMN-170829-172359001
John Bailey (left) and Bob White, who have started up a support group for fellow prostate cancer sufferers in Melton EMN-170829-172359001
0
Have your say

A support group has been started in Melton for men who have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The idea came from town residents Bob White and John Bailey, who have both had treatment for the disease in recent years.

They want to provide emotional support for sufferers and family members as well as encouraging men in the borough to have blood tests to check if they have it.

Monthly meetings of the group, which will be based at the Samworth Centre in Burton Street, will start on Wednesday September 27, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Bob (70), a retired police officer, said: “I could have done with a support group when I was first diagnosed six years ago and my wife said there was no support for partners either.

“It’s like a death sentence when you are first told you have prostate cancer.

“Melton apparently has the second highest number of sufferers in Leicestershire so there should be a demand for this type of group and I hope men will come along and benefit from it.”

Bob advises any man over the age of 50 to have a blood test - called a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) screening - to check if they have it. Catching the disease early can mean the difference between life and death and it can also affect men in their 30s and 40s as well.

Symptoms can often be difficult to detect although it is often associated with problems passing urine.

John decided to have the test by chance after chatting with his doctor about something unrelated to it.

The 76-year-old said: “Luckily I went ahead with the test last June and found out that I had prostate cancer.

“I’ve had radiotherapy for 37 days and I’m in remission but it was important I caught it early.

“I’ve had it so if I can help anyone else who is concerned or worried through this group then that will be great.”

Those who attend the group’s first meeting will get a chance to meet Rob Banner, director of the PROSTaid charity, which supports Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire men who have the disease.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show 40,331 men developed prostate cancer in England in 2015, which represented one in four of all registrations for cancer treatment.

It was the second most common form of the disease, behind the 46,000 who suffered from breast cancer.