“IF you give blokes the right environment, they will share the most intimate details of their lives,” prostate cancer survivor John Trollor says.
The Bathurst District Prostate Cancer Support Group (BDPCSG) is among a host of cancer support services that not only care for people during treatment, but in the years that follow.
Mr Trollor joined BDPCSG 20 years ago and said the group provides the right environment for men to feel comfortable to share their stories.
“There’s good fellowship and there’s good support and good resources,” he said.
“They’re the key and it’s fun, we make our meetings fun. They’re not morbid, we don’t want to always talk about prostate cancer, but they’re usually informative and they’re interesting.”
BDPCSG treasurer Tony Sutton joined the group eight years ago and is passionate about getting men to acknowledge and talk about their prostate.
“Blokes don’t want to take responsibility for their health in general until it’s too late,” he said.
“With prostate cancer, it’s very treatable when there’s no symptoms, if you start getting symptoms that means you may be too late or it’s going to be a more difficult treatment.”
Mr Sutton said these days the first step of testing for prostate cancer was through a blood test, rather than the digital rectal examination.
“It’s [the blood test] an indicator that you need to further investigate,” he said.
Mr Troller said a number of women are also members of the BDPCSG and he welcomed more to come along.
“They are an integral part of any support group,” he said.
Visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to find out more or call Daffodil Cottage in Bathurst on 6330 5347.
Support groups are more than just talk
PUTTING your hand up for help or support might be the last thing that some people want to do, but for many people undergoing treatment for cancer it is a vital part of their coping mechanisim.
Alice Hopwood was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2012 and said support groups were vital as she progressed through her treatment journey.
“The breast care nurse linked me into with services that I needed because I got really sick going through chemo and I’m a single parent with two boys with autism so it meant that there was a lot of support needed to keep the family running,” she said.