LETTERS: Local prostate cancer support group

To the editor:

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and as a nurse who has helped facilitate a Prostate Cancer Support Group, I have seen the importance of men and women gathering to share their prostate cancer stories. I am always amazed at the amount of warm humor, caring relationships and good advice that emerge at these monthly sessions.

Yet I know that some men or women do not feel comfortable in support groups and so, I have worked with One2One, a Maine confidential telephone connection that matches men with trained Maine volunteers who have experienced what they are confronting in their lives. (Call 207-441-5374 or 1-855-552-7200 x 801, leave a message and someone will get back to you.)

I also know that the Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer (www.mcfpc.org) has information listing all the support groups currently available in Maine, many on Zoom.

Equally important is the suggestion that men who are 45 or older give thought to talking with their primary care providers about considering a PSA blood test as well as a DRE exam to establish a baseline on their prostate health. When prostate cancer is detected early, several treatment options can help individuals lead a healthy and productive life. Indeed, for many men the choice will be active surveillance or just keeping an eye on the numbers with no treatment called for. (When prostate cancer spreads, the course of action can be much more difficult and often affects quality of life as well as life expectancy).

In these troubling days of Covid-19 we somehow must still keep ourselves knowledgeable about our health, and keep our eyes on the future.

Andrea Martelle RN


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