High Peak support group appeals for men with prostate cancer to join

A high peak man who runs a prostate cancer support group is urging other men to attend and access its vital services.

Mike Harrison,77, set up the High Peak Prostate Cancer Support Group at Blythe House Hospice in 2010 after being diagnosed with the condition three years earlier.

The group - which takes place on the fourth Tuesday of every month - hosts speakers from the medical profession and discusses the latest research into prostate cancer, medical trials, treatments and drugs - as well as topics like exercise and diet.

The condition, which affects about 1 in 8 men when cells in the prostate gland grow in an uncontrolled way, is symptomless for some men - meaning they may not find out about it until it is too late.

Great-grandfather-of-four Mike, 77, told how when he was first diagnosed in 2007 he felt ‘very isolated and alone’ - often struggling to get information and advice so he set up the group three years later to help others in the same situation.

Retired engineer Mike said: “The group really does take the sting and fear out of cancer diagnosis.

“There will always be someone there with a different experience who can provide advice and friendship.

“When new people come along to attend I can see the relief in their faces as we sit in our circle of friends to discuss and laugh together.

“They realise that this isn’t a death sentence, this is a question of living with prostate cancer - rather than dying from it.”

Mike, who was diagnosed and referred to Stepping Hill Hospital by a GP who ‘seemed to know the signs of prostate cancer’, said members had been able to discover other services at Blythe House including mindfulness therapy and counselling.

He said: “The group is open to everyone who is affected by prostate cancer.

“We are here to educate, advise, support, be your friend and ensure you live well for longer with prostate cancer and you are more than welcome to attend.”

The group takes place on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 5-7pm at Blythe House Hospicecare.