Letter: Tri-Cities men who battle prostate cancer don’t have to do it alone

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped survivor’s group from sharing information and support

Editor:

Cancer, like other life-threatening diseases, isn’t taking a break for COVID-19.  Over 23,000 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and 4,200 Canadians will die from it. Prostate cancer represents 20% of all new male cancer cases.  

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Our Tri-Cities Prostate Cancer Support Group has been meeting at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month for the past 23 years. 

Like many others, when COVID-19 struck, we had to scramble to find new ways to provide support to the men and their partners facing this life-threatening disease.

We knew that we had to find a way to make use of Zoom so that we could continue providing this essential support until we could meet in person again at the IBEW 213 Union Hall at 1424 Broadway Street in Port Coquitlam.  We resumed virtual meetings using Zoom on the first Tuesday in May. 

Some of the information we offer include presentations from health care professionals, often a urologist or an oncologist. This is followed by discussions where people can ask questions and share experiences. 

Since some of our members have very limited experience with computers, we provide them with help to join our meetings.

Speakers at our recent meetings have paid particular attention to the challenges of isolation, depression and accessing services during this pandemic. 

Our virtual meetings have been very well-received, including participants from as far away as Arizona and New Brunswick. We are also holding Zoom meetings on the third Tuesday of each month for a less structured opportunity to share common questions and concerns.  

Our meetings are open to anyone with questions or concerns about prostate cancer. For more information contact us by email at rasmunds@sfu.ca.

Dale Bryant

Tri-Cities Prostate Cancer Support Group

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