Latest Group News
It is with extreme sadness that we report the death on 15 January 2020 of Terry Oliver, who had been with the Support Group, and a member of the committee, from inception. He was the backbone of our group being extremely knowledgeable about prostate cancer, different procedures and treatments, and a passionate supporter of the PSA test, and spreading awareness of this.
Terry very strongly believed that, along with lifestyle and nutrition,exercise benefited cancer patients and, on behalf of our group, he was main contact for the “Living Well with and Beyond Cancer” programme bringing exercise to local prostate cancer patients at the local Dolphin, Leisure Centre where he took part in exercise himself on a weekly basis.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1995.
The latest PSA testing day organized by Burgess Hill and District Lions with the support of the Prostate Cancer Support Organisation (PCaSO) was held on the 12th October at the Triangle Leisure Centre Burgess Hill. Further support on the day was provided, as in the past four years, by our Support Group committee members and their families and friends.
PCaSO reports that 637 men were tested on the day, a further year-by-year increase. Of these 598 had a normal green reading, 16 were borderline amber and 23 fell onto the high red readings. There will be clinical follow-up of these. The highest reading of the day was 40.73 and several others were into double figures.
The day ran very smoothly on schedule, even though one of the phlebotomists was taken ill at lunchtime and had to go home! There will be a test day in East Grinstead on 23rd November.
The Sad Death of Arthur Millard
Arthur Millard, up until a few weeks ago, Secretary and Treasurer of the Group, sadly died in hospital on the 23rd of April only a few weeks after having been diagnosed with terminal cancer. (This was not his prostate cancer.) Arthur became secretary and treasurer not long after the Group’s formation in 2012, managing all the administrative and financial tasks that kept the Group in being and operational. A kindly, gentle, conscientious and effective person he will be personally known to members who attend Group meetings as the person sitting at the table by the door, welcoming everybody, handling annual subscriptions and taking details of new members. He resigned a short time ago following his devastating diagnosis. He leaves a great gap, as a person, as a committee member, and for his effective work for the Group.
Living Well with Cancer in Mid-Sussex
(Progress report: 6th February 2019)
Following the survey of our members on this topic (see below), early in2018, we emailed a summary of the results to clinicians and the providers of services and facilities and suggested approaches to improve the situation. We have had a very positive response to this and are contributing to a number of initiatives to improve facilities and services in Mid-Sussex:
a) Supervised exercise for cancer patients. Following the successful completion of, Macmillan funded, courses by trainers at the Dolphin Leisure Centre, Haywards Heath, the first local supervised exercise programme for cancer patients is now available. Please go to the Living Well With and Beyond Cancer web-page to find out more details. One of our members kindly volunteered to participate in one of the training course case studies. He has provided a very encouraging report of his experience:
“Firstly, I was just emerging from a five-year battle with Polymyalgia during which time I’d been quite unable to do any exercise at all. I wasn’t at all sure that anything worked still.
Thanks to Lorraine (the trainer), I found that some things were OK and others came back to life as our sessions progressed.
I began to feel better almost immediately and by the end of our session there was no doubt at all that I had benefitted. To some extent this feeling of well-being could be attributed to my release from Polymyalgia, but I am convinced that it was mostly attributable to the exercises alone.
Sheffield University conducted some research into this issue and the findings are quite remarkable; they found that exercise reduced the risk of PC mortality by 30% and slowed disease progression by 57%.
Based on my own experience, and encouraged by these research findings, I am currently talking to Dolphin Leisure about them organising a suitable exercise class. I have the feeling that they will seriously consider this. I think this would be of interest to other members and will therefore let you know of any progress so that any others who are interested may be made aware of this opportunity.”
b) We have been hoping that drop-in information and support facilities for cancer patients at the Princess Royal Hospital (Haywards Heath) might be upgraded to match those Macmillan, and its partners, provide at the Royal Sussex (Brighton), Queen Victoria (East Grinstead) and other local hospitals. The Macmillan Engagement Manager for Surrey and Sussex joined the Group Committee at its meeting in January 2019 to discuss the way forward. A questionnaire will be produced which it is hoped members of all the various local tumour-specific support groups, including, of course, our Group, will complete. The current plan is that Macmillan will report back at our November Group meeting on the outcome of this survey and the proposed way forward for information and support facilities for the PRH.
c) The Brighton and Sussex Universities NHS Trust will be organising “living with prostate cancer days”. We are in discussion with the Trust on how our Group can support this.
The Survey Report: Here
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