Welcome to Prospect - a support group for prostate cancer patients, their wives, partners and carers.
Prospect is run by prostate cancer survivors for the benefit of the communities in Bristol and surrounding districts

  • Zoom talk and ‘cancer treatable’

    At our next Zoom meeting on November 17  (7.30pm) Timon Colegrove, of Oxford PCa Support Group, will talk about his experience of Proton Beam Therapy. The next Zoom ‘coffee morning’ is on November 5. Information by email beforehand. New patients can contact us via Contact us (above) or our Tackle helpline (0800 035 5302).

    Like to become involved in shaping the future of PCa treatments?

    Tackle are looking for someone to become involved as a patient in the development of new pathways for the approval of new treatments for PCa. It will not need a lot of time and promises to be an interesting and informative project. Want to find out more? Contact Tackle Patient Representative Steve Allen at steve.allen@tackleprostate.org

    NEW: Free creative writing programme

    The Southmead Hospital social prescribing programme, Arts on Referral, regularly run these programmes for cancer patients. No experience is necessary; it is about creating time for patients to take part in a safe, supportive group, tap into their creativity, and meet others in a similar situation. The next programme starts on November 5 and is run by the Fresh Arts Programme at Southmead on Zoom. There are no more than 8 patients taking part. But people can join up until November 13 if they miss the first session. Donna Baber, the Arts Programme Manager, can take referrals from patients from Bristol and surrounding areas. She is on 07554 334 828, donna.baber@nbt.nhs.uk or fresh.arts@nbt.nhs.uk Her working days are 9–5 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Outside those times contact Ruth Sidgwick, her job share, on ruth.sidgwick@nbt.nhs.uk

    ‘Trojan horse nanoparticles kill cancer’

    Scientists have created a “Trojan horse” that sneaks nanoparticles into cancer cells and causes them to self-destruct without any drugs. The research is still in its early days, but the new method has already proved to be effective at killing cancer cells in a petri dish and reducing tumour growth in mice. See more

    Cancer ‘treatable’

    Two professors have made a discovery that could turn cancer into a treatable disease (Sept ’20). See more here. And minscule robots can seek out cancer.cells and destroy them More here

    Referrals hit by Covid

    Prostate cancer referrals halved since lockdown as thousands of men put off seeing their GP, the Daily Mail reported. 27,000 fewer men have been referred to a specialist with suspected cases compared with the same period last year, according to analysis of official NHS data by Prostate Cancer UK. Urgent GP referrals for PCa have plunged to their lowest level in 10 years due to the  impact of Covid-19 (Sept ’20). More here

    Check your risk in 30 seconds!

    An online 30-second risk checker has been launched which men are encouraged to take –  see here And a Prostate Cancer Research team are using machine learning to develop a new way to classify PCa and separate the “tigers” from the “pussycats” (Sept ’20). More here And a US study demonstrated the highest accuracy to date in recognising and characterising PCa using artificial intelligence (July ’20). More here Also a new blood test for PCa is producing 99% accuracy – the best yet. More here And a new 15-minute ‘game-changing’ test is announced here

    Abiraterone plea heard; deaths up

    NICE appeal: Prostate Cancer UK asked NICE to reverse its decision to restrict abiraterone for advanced prostate cancer because it limits options for older men and NICE later agreed to an appeal (Jul ’20). See more here. Deaths from PCa in the UK exceeded 12,000 in 2019 for the first time and it overtook breast cancer as the most common cancer (June ’20). See more here. But the UK death rate from this cancer is expected to fall by nearly 10 per cent in 2020. See more here  And a new type of immune cell which kills most cancers has been discovered by British scientists. More info here  Screening: An expert explained why finding a suitable method is vital but is difficult. See more here

  • Tackle’s new support manager

    Sarah Gray is Tackle’s new National Support and Development Manager on a 3-year project funded by the National Lottery. The project is to support groups across England and work with healthcare professionals to set up new groups.

  • Hormone treatment and Covid-19

    Hormone treatment might offer some protection from Covid-19, it’s reported. See more here And it can make PCa worse, this study finds.  An online survey aiming to shed more light on the experience of PCa patients on this therapy is being conducted via this link And a London college has developed an online intervention to support men with PCa who have ongoing fatigue and is recruiting patients to take part. Information here. And an oil-based oral formulation has been found that not only enables a smaller dose of abiraterone to be effective but also has the potential to dramatically reduce possible side effects (Jun ’20). See more here

  • Chemo swapped for precision drugs

    Advanced PCa patients can take enzalutamide or abirerone at home instead of going into hospital for chemotherapy, NHS England says. It will relieve pressure on the NHS. The drugs are smarter, kinder treatments and could extend the lives of many more men, it’s said (May ’20). See more here: And a new treatment is being tested that could extend the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer, by killing cancer in the prostate despite the disease having spread. The nationwide Atlanta trial, at Imperial College London, was recruiting 918 newly-diagnosed men. Read more here.  And positive results have been reported from a trial that tested the PARP-inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) in patients with metastatic castration-resistant PCa who have alterations in certain DNA damage repair genes. Roughly 20-30% of these patients harbour these gene mutations in their tumours and thus may benefit from olaparib.

  • Killer virus attacks cancer

    A genetically modified virus that kills cancer cells and destroys their hiding places has been developed by British scientists. The dual-action virus targets both cancer cells and healthy cells which have been tricked into protecting the cancer from the immune system. The Oxford University study is the first time cancer-associated fibroblasts or CAFs within solid tumours have been specifically targeted in this way (Nov ’19). See more here. And a simple new blood test has been found to detect aggressive prostate cancer, according to research by Queen Mary University of London. With the PSA test, the new test could help men avoid unnecessary and invasive biopsies, over-diagnosis and over-treatment. The results need to be validated in other independent research centres before the new test is available, which could take 3-5 more years (Oct ’19). See more here. And UK researchers have developed a urine test to diagnose aggressive PCa and predict whether patients will need treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods (Jun ’19). See more here

  • Tracking down tumours

    A radical ‘seek and destroy’ treatment could extend the lives of thousands of men with advanced PCa. The approach is described by experts as ‘game changing’ (Jun ’19). See more at

  • MRI scans to replace PSA?

    Hundreds of UK men are trying out a non-invasive MRI scan for PCa to see if it should eventually be offered routinely on the NHS. The scan takes images to check for any abnormal growths. It will take a few years to know if MRI will be better than PSA tests and biopsies at spotting cancers (Jun ’19). In this article, Prof Mark Emberton explains why finding a suitable screening method is vital but has proved difficult so far. And Prostate Cancer UK said the news made headlines but journalists “can be overly enthusiastic about new research” and put the record straight here. And an academic article on this suibject is to be found here

  • Cancer can be detected much earlier

     

    The first signs of cancer can appear decades before diagnosis, scientists have found – a discovery that could revolutionise treatment (Feb ’20). See more here. And Public Health England has published a statistical bulletin on survival rates for many types of cancer based on recent data. It stressses the importance of early diagnosis. A summary is here with a link to the full report. More news items on the Newsletter page.

  • Patient guide ‘good source of info’

    Prostate Cancer Foundation’s 2019 Patient Guide is said to be one of the best sources of information from diagnosis to survival of PCa. Download it for free here.  Our New Research page is updated regularly.

  • Docetaxel breakthrough

    The NHS confirmed in January that the chemotherapy drug docetaxel will be made available to prostate cancer patients as soon as they are diagnosed instead of having to wait until other treatments stop working. See. More news on the newsletter page.

RunningA friendly and supportive network that usually meets at BAWA, Filton. Because of COVID-19, meetings are on hold and the AGM has been postponed. Meeting details are in the column on the left. Our group aims to:

We have found that knowledge is of great benefit to the patient. It enables him to play an active part in the decision-making process, for example in selecting the best treatment.

We offer a friendly welcome – join us

Are you just diagnosed, or do you suspect that you may have prostate cancer? Then for friendly peer support and an introduction to Prospect email prospect.bristol@gmail.com or call the Tackle helpline, which will put you in touch with us: 0800 035 5302. You can join us for a small subscription by filling in the PDF membership form on the Contact/Join us page.

This site has been compiled by prostate cancer survivors. We do not claim to have specialist knowledge other than that gained by prostate cancer patients during their treatment.

Regional co-ordinator needed

Tackle need a Regional Co-ordinator for Western Counties. The holder acts as a focal point for communications on region-specific topics between the new chairman, Ken Mastris, and member groups in the area. In addition, he or she will participate in occasional meetings or teleconferences. All expenses are reimbursed. If any Prospect member wishes to volunteer, they can email info@tackleprostate.org

Protected from despair…

George Monbiot writes in the Guardian that the principles that define a good life protect him from despair, despite a diagnosis of prostate cancer and the ‘grisly’ operation he faces (Mar ’18). See here

We give illustrated talks

Our Mike Broxton gives prostate cancer awareness talks to interested groups, including those with learning disabilities. To arrange a talk, contact prospect.bristol@gmail.com or 0800 035 5302.

 

Having the conversation…

“Manversation” is a campaign to encourage men to speak about prostate cancer, particularly the advanced prostate form. Tackle have collaborated with Orchid, the male cancer charity, and put their name to a video and supporting material on the Manversation website.

Myths debunked and spotting fake cancer news

Ten cancer myths debunked. See here. And also here are six tips to spot cancer fake news

New information for at-risk black men

One in four black men will get prostate cancer – double the overall risk faced by all UK men. Are you are risk? See here

Energise wins award

The exercise-based cancer rehab programme Energise won the Together We Achieve award for 2016. The award, announced at the inaugural Health & Care Awards in March ’17, recognises teams working together to deliver improved patient care and public health. See a video about their work here. For more information on Energise see our Helpful links page.

New research strategy launched

Prostate Cancer UK has launched an ambitious 10-year strategy setting out how it will invest in the most innovative research to create a step change in our knowledge of prostate cancer. See here. And we have more research news here.

Swedish test shows promise

Swedish researchers found a test which is a potentially a game-changing step forward for prostate cancer risk assessment. It involved genetic and protein biomarkers (the S3M) and was much better than PSA alone at detecting potentially dangerous prostate cancers. The Swedish results give compelling evidence the S3M risk assessment model can

dramatically cut the number of unnecessary biopsies, without compromising patients’ safety. But Prostate Cancer UK says it’s going to be important to validate this study in a more diverse population before it can accept that it will work elsewhere. It is funding more research to develop a new UK risk assessment tool. These plans are still going full steam ahead, and PCa UK expects to have more to say about this later. See more here.

Tiger or pussycat? That’s the problem

It’s a big problem to tell the difference between slow-growing cancers and aggressive ones. See here. But new research from one of Prostate Cancer UK’s Centres of Excellence could help identify which is which (Oct ’17). See here.

Cancer ‘as unique as fingerprints’

Each person’s cancer is as unique as their fingerprints, said Professor Gillies McKenna, Director of the CRUK/MCR Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology. This created an opportunity for more precise treatment.

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  • Know your risk

    Prostate Cancer UK has a new infographic and booklets.

    Exchange information

    www.myprostate.eu is now also available in English and prostate cancer patients can exchange information and help each other with treatment decisions.

  • Help with treatment choices

    Get enhanced guidance on treatment options, thanks to a checklist developed by researchers (Jun ’17). See. More help here. And why it’s difficult to choose among treatment options (Jul ’17). See. Men with early stage prostate cancer wishing to preserve sexual function while on treatment do not always make the right choices. See

  • Buddies home support hit

    This Macmillan service offered support for adult cancer patients in their homes in our areas but due to Covid they can’t visit people in their homes. The Bristol Buddies service has moved across into its national telephone service for now. Ring 07543 248714 or email bristolbuddies@macmillan.org.uk