Sunday, 9 April

Oxfordshire Prostate Cancer Support Group

Newsletter April 2017

AGM 2017

The AGM held on 13 March was attended by 69 members.  After the business meeting had been concluded we heard two fascinating talks from Simon Brewster, consultant surgeon, and Dr Andy Protheroe, consultant oncologist, who spoke about active surveillance and immunotherapy.  We appreciate this link with leading practitioners at the Churchill Hospital.

At the AGM the following officers were elected for the coming year:

Chairman – John Grundy;  Vice Chairman – George Goldsmith;  Secretary – VACANT;  Treasurer – John Goldsmith.  Committee members: John Fowler, Martin Graves, Dave Hawes, Jean Hawes

The continuing lack of a Secretary is very worrying.  We would like to introduce someone to this essential role so that the group can continue to function effectively as now.  If you can offer some help please contact me directly.  Contact details at the end of the Newsletter.  The committee members have divided tasks between them for now, but this will decrease efficiency and is not tenable in the long run.

NEXT GROUP MEETING - Monday 24 April 6.30 for 7.00 p.m. at Oxford Golf Club, Hill Top Road, OX4 1PF.

Jane Newman, Specialist Physiotherapist in Women's & Men's Health, will talk about physiotherapy and prostate cancer.  Come and hear how there is more to life than pelvic floor exercises!


This year’s cruise is scheduled for Sunday 25 June, departing from Wallingford Bridge at 2.30 for three hours.  As always, the cruise will feature a jazz band and cream teas.  The cruise is always very well supported and may sell out, so book your places early by contacting George Goldsmith,, 01235 763486.  Payment of £11 per person (no increase!) is due by 1 June.  Cheques made out to ‘Oxfordshire Prostate Cancer Support Group’ (NOT the abbreviation OPCSG) can be sent to George at 2 Ridgeway Court, Wolage Drive, Wantage, OX12 9NP.


We have received news of an interesting new course on offer at Maggie’s Centre, Oxford (next to the Churchill Hospital) over four sessions between April and July 2017. ‘Sex and cancer: A series of workshops for anyone affected by cancer’ will run from 6 to 8 p.m. on 27 April, 25 May, 22 June and 6 July.  Places are limited, so please contact Claire Marriott on 01865 759951 or to make enquiries or to book places – and act quickly, because the course starts soon.


Under The tab ‘Where to find help’ on our website ( you will find details of some insurers that we know about who offer travel insurance to prostate cancer patients.  Whilst we cannot recommend any individual provider and you should of course make your own researches, I can report that OPCSG member Geoff Hamer has had good experiences with Eurotunnel.  Geoff writes: “You do not have to have been a customer of theirs. They do not ask any medical questions. What they do say is that if there is a claim, they will need a letter from a Doctor to say that you were fit to travel. They will provide multi-trip cover if both parties are under 70, on the same conditions. Obviously, it is up to each individual to ensure that the cover is right for them.”  Contact details for all insurers mentioned are on the website.


Much of the service that OPCSG is able to offer depends on the good will of members who are wiling to talk to enquirers about their personal experience of treatment.  If you would like to join the team of men who are ready to take calls from enquirers making treatment decisions, please let me know.


If you happen to be in the Witney area on Saturday 22 April why not drop in to a coffee morning organised by Witney Rotary Club with proceeds to OPCSG and St Mary’s Church restoration fund.  10.00 to 12.30, St Mary’s Church, Church Green, Witney.


OPCSG is proud to announce that after an exhaustive process of inspection, we have been awarded the Certificate of Good Practice by our partner Prostate Cancer UK (PCUK), the leading charity in this area.  The award is a tribute to the hard work of your Committee past and present in promoting the wellbeing of prostate cancer patients, and fighting to raise awareness of the disease in our county.


Saturday 4 March was a brilliant fundraising day for OPCSG.  In the afternoon our team of 16 volunteers went to Oxford United and collected donations from spectators attending the match against Bristol Rovers.  The event was organised jointly with PCUK and we shared the proceeds, £455 going to OPCSG.  (Just a pity about the result that day – we never seem to bring United much luck when we do a collection).  In the evening our volunteer team moved to the Town Hall at the invitation of the Oxfordshire Welsh Society.  After a stirring concert from the South Wales Male Choir including such favourites as Men of Harlech and Cwm Rhondda (‘Bread of Heaven…’) and two brilliant young soloists, concertgoers contributed £585 to our collection.  Our sincere thanks to the volunteers at both events, and to OUFC and the Welsh Society for allowing us to be there.


Whenever funds permit, OPCSG likes to support the excellent work of the Churchill Hospital where so many of our members are treated.  Thanks to the very generous response of donors to our fundraising efforts this year, we have been able to donate to the hospital £7614 to purchase a modern, automated patient trolley for use when biopsies are carried out.  It is already in use, and will eventually be used in conjunction with the MRI/TRUS Fusion System for prostate biopsy targeting, shortly to be purchased by the Churchill.  This system will permit much more accurate, digitally guided biopsies, improving both the patient experience and the accuracy of the process.  


These are the group meeting dates for this year.  If you have not yet attended a group meeting, be aware that they provide not only a chance to hear a guest speaker but also plenty of time to meet other members, discuss mutual issues and share the experience of being a patient of prostate cancer.

2017 GROUP MEETINGS, Mondays 6.30 for 7.00 p.m. at Oxford Golf Club, Hill Top Road, OX4 1PF

24 April with physiotherapist Jane Newman;   

12 June, ‘Tales of a Tour Manager’, John Grundy;

11 September on clinical trials with Nikki Hayward, Senior Nurse, Research and Engagement, CRUK;

16 October, Prof. Simon Leedham,  Director, Centre for Personalised Medicine,

Cancer Research UK, Clinical Scientist, and Dr. Shazia Irshad on ‘Personalised medicine, and stratifying Indolent from aggressive prostate cancers.’

2017 SOCIAL EVENTS: Sunday 25 June, river cruise from Wallingford; Saturday 9 December skittles.

Volunteers are always needed to help at AWARENESS EVENTS including 7 May Wallingford Vintage Car rally; 26 June Cassington Bike Night; 22 July Witney Vintage Steam Fair; 28 August Uffington White Horse Fair; 24 September Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride.  These events are our main opportunity to spread our message to the public – GET CHECKED!  Please let us know any dates when you can help.


If you are holding a fundraising event, or if you or a friend wish to donate directly to OPCSG, the easiest way to pay money to OPCSG is via our Mydonate page at  Unlike some donation sites, Mydonate takes no fee except for a minimal charge on credit card donations.  You can use Gift Aid to increase the value of your donation.

If you no longer wish to receive this Newsletter please let me know on or 01865 730110.  For news updates keep an eye on our website at

John Grundy                                                                        

Chairman, OPCSG