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Regional men target for new prostate cancer phone groups

Sunday 1 November, 2009

Ballarat resident Terry Grano had never thought of prostate cancer being a problem until he was diagnosed at age 52. 

Terry's disease had been 'silent' with no obvious symptoms until ongoing chronic pain in his leg and neck highlighted a need for further investigation. Tests and x-rays revealed Terry had prostate cancer which had spread to his bones. 

Now a long-term survivor and the facilitator of the Ballarat prostate cancer support group, Terry recognises the great value in sharing information and experiences with others.

He welcomes the Cancer Council's initiative to parter with key organisations and deliver new phone support groups to reach more men affected by prostate cancer.

"Phone groups are a good form of support, particularly for people living in hard to reach areas," Mr Grano said.

"Support groups allow you to bond with others who have had cancer interfere with their lives.

"Groups can break down the barriers of isolation and the more you talk, the more likely you are to express your real problems," he said.

Doreen Akkerman, Director of the Cancer Council's Information and Support Service said 33 per cent of Victorian men diagnosed with prostate cancer were living in rural and regional areas.   

"Services like these support groups are critical for non-metropolitan communities as research shows that limited access to services can contribute to poorer survival rates in rural areas," Ms Akkerman said.

"Delivering a prostate phone support service means we can extend our reach to men geographically and socially isolated in their experience.  

"Men can talk frankly to other men about their problems in a confidential, anonymous environment and can improve quality-of-life."

Ms Akkerman said the telephone support groups were available for:

  • Younger men with prostate cancer
  • Men with advanced prostate cancer
  • Family and carers of men living with prostate cancer.

Contact us on 13 11 20 or to register your interest.

Delivered in partnership with MensLine Australia and with funding from Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia and beyondblue: the national depression initiative.