‘The Reluctant Brotherhood’ – A Prostate Cancer Support Group Unites Members

June 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer then the need to get treatments and supports becomes necessary. There are lots of prostate cancer support groups out there, and members work together in sharing and caring about this condition.

One of such support groups in the in the US is the Hartford Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group. The Group has members that are living with cancer of the prostate but are still surviving.

The following report can inspire you to join a support group for prostate cancer if you have are living with the condition or if your doctor have recently diagnosed the malignant tumor in your prostate gland:

When Thomas Blank was diagnosed with prostate cancer 16 years ago, he was 49. The median age of diagnosis, according to the National Cancer Institute, is 67. The joke, Blank said this week, was that prostate cancer is an old man’s disease.

Blank turned to the Hartford Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group, whose members call themselves “the Reluctant Brotherhood.”

Started 21 years ago this month, the group was the first of its kind in the Northeast, an offshoot of the international nonprofit organization “Us Too,” created to educate and unite men with prostate cancer.

Back in 1991 — when cancer wasn’t as easily discussed as it is today and information wasn’t as readily available online — about 250 people turned out for that first meeting.

The group is smaller now, but no less enthusiastic. This week, about two dozen members gathered in the hospital’s Gilman Auditorium for an informal panel discussion on topics such as cutting-edge CyberKnife procedures and the controversy over the necessity of PSA testing.

Blank, a professor at the University of Connecticut who now studies the psychosocial aspects of life-threatening disease, recalls the first Reluctant Brotherhood meeting he attended.

“People were talking about a lot of things I didn’t want to hear,” he said. “But they were also laughing.”

After that the meeting, Blank said, he broke down as he walked through the parking lot. His emotional revelation, he said, was two-fold. “I was realizing the gravity of what I was dealing with, but feeling so good people could live.”

“It was such a relief to see others doing well,” he said. “It shows there’s a lot of light at the end of the tunnel.”

Registered nurses Peg Garrison and Carole Fox launched the group at Hartford Hospital with the cooperation of hospital and cancer center administrators, and they continue to facilitate the group 21 years later. For Garrison, the effort has been personal: Her father died of prostate cancer in 1983.

Garrison said what she appreciates most about the group is that it means patients don’t have to go it alone.

“It’s more like a team approach to the cancer,” she said. Garrison added that while she’s been glad to help the group’s members, she has benefited just as much as they have over the past 21 years.

For Bob Brass, joining the group and meeting many lively, healthy members made him feel he was “going to survive.”

He said he began attending meetings as a form of self-education but has continued attending to help educate and encourage others.

This fall, Brass and several other members will host the group’s 11th Annual “Reluctant Brotherhood” Golf Tournament to raise money for prostate cancer research organizations. Members also plan to hand out literature about testing, prevention and treatment of prostate cancer in hopes of raising awareness in the general public.

“If there are ways to do outreach, we will,” Brass said.

Although the group’s members came together under the dark cloud of cancer, the friendships they have forged offer a silver lining.

“Of course, no one would ever say they wanted to be diagnosed with cancer,” Blank said. “But there’s lots of people who I’ve enjoyed interacting with. It feels good to help others work through the crisis.” Source.

The above information is encouraging as it reveals the benefits of becoming a member of a prostate cancer support Group. The Reluctant Brotherhood is an example of a support group that provides hope and support for those living with cancer of the prostate.

Its move to organize events so as to raise funds for prostate cancer research organizations and also to educate the public about prostate cancer is worth commending.

So, you should look out for a similar prostate cancer support groups and sign up with one. This can enhance your prostate cancer survival.

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