Prostate Cancer UK has teamed up with Opening Doors London to trial a new online discussion group for gay and bisexual men who have been affected by prostate cancer. The online discussion group will provide men with the opportunity to discuss any subject or concerns about prostate cancer and offer support.
The first session was held last night (18 October at 7pm) and was facilitated by Opening Doors London, the largest charity for older people in the LGBT community in the UK. Sessions will take place for an hour on the third Thursday of every month for the trial period (6 months) and will be accessible from 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 should they wish.
Currently, 1 man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer – that’s more than 11,000 men in the UK each year. This makes tackling prostate cancer through research, campaigning and providing support crucially important. Tailoring information and services to different areas of the community also plays a key role in tackling this disease.
Martin Wells, 63 from Burnley, is a gay man who was diagnosed with localised prostate cancer in 2007. He said: “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.
Ann Innes, Support Group Development Manager at Prostate Cancer UK explains, “We know that people find a great deal of help and support in dealing with prostate cancer from being able to talk to others about shared experiences and problems. 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. We hope to see this unique support group develop into a key trusted resource for these men going forward.”
Professor Jeffery Weeks, Chair of ODL trustees said, “Opening Doors London is delighted to be working in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK in the development of an important new service. This online support group for gay men living with prostate cancer will provide new opportunities to challenge taboos and anxieties and to develop mutual support, confidence and knowledge.”
The next session will take place on 16th November 2018
To join the online discussion group, please register your details here:https://prostatecanceruk.org/lgbtgroup