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You Are Not Alone: The Positive Impact of Prostate Cancer Support Groups

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Published on March 16, 2018

Simply finding out you’re not alone on your journey can work wonders for your well-being. What other ways can you benefit from a prostate cancer support group? Prostate cancer patient advocates, Rick Dole and William Hayton, share their experience connecting with a support group. Expert, Elizabeth Harris from the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, also discusses other opportunities for patients in the prostate cancer community. Watch now to find out. 

This virtual town meeting was a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power in partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. We thank Astellas and Sanofi for their support.

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Transcript | You Are Not Alone: The Positive Impact of Prostate Cancer Support Groups

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Jeff Folloder:              

There are a lot of support groups out there for every form of cancer known to mankind. There’s in-person support groups, there are online support groups, there are support groups on Facebook. Are support groups relevant to your journey? 

Rick Dole:                  

Well, they are. I attend a monthly support group meeting in Everett, Washington, and it’s been going on for some 25 years, I believe. There’s a nurse practitioner who runs the thing. He does not have prostate cancer himself, it just became his calling, I suppose. In that, I learned different things—I see people who are like me in the stage where you’re at with a disease, and I see how are they doing, and following them. At the same time, I preach the aggressive treatment. We try to…

 …we get somebody who comes in new, and sometimes, they’re really worried. Most of us that are there are very positive. Life goes on. You don’t roll around on the floor, crying and beating your head against the wall. You just go on with life. I support groups, I find—it’s more helpful for me now as more of a teacher, if you will.

Jeff Folloder:              

What about you? Are you involved with a support group?

Bill Hayton:                

I am not. I guess I feel very well that I forget about prostate cancer. I say often to friends that if I didn’t have a measurable PSA, I wouldn’t know I have a disease. That is my disease, is my PSA, I guess. That’s what it’s come down to. So I feel very normal.

Jeff Folloder:              

Excellent. It’s been my experience that there are many people who do benefit from a support group, and there are people like you that—“I’m good. I’ve got this covered.”

I know that our medical centers offer support groups. Do you encourage your patients to connect in share groups?

Elizabeth Harris:         

Yes. I have actually—we actually have a couple of patients who head support groups, and Dr. Higano and Dr. Beer have a yearly prostate cancer conference in September, and they recruit members of the support group to come. They also recruit other speakers to speak in their support groups, and we do encourage them to go to support groups.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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