Friday, 3 April

Oxfordshire Prostate Cancer Support Group

Newsletter      Easter  2015

LIVING WITH AND BEYOND PROSTATE CANCER – a free eight week course at Maggie’s

We have received the following invitation from the Maggie’s Centre in Oxford.  Maggie’s hopes that people will come to the whole series of evenings, but they will accept bookings for individual evenings as well.  I hope that many of our members will be there:

At Maggie’s Oxford (on the Churchill Hospital site) we are going to be running a new course called ‘Living With and Beyond Prostate Cancer’. It runs over eight weeks, and the sessions will be on Tuesday evenings 6-8pm, and will start on 14th April. Snacks and refreshments will be provided and the course is free of charge. Anyone with a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer can attend, and partners are welcome too.

The structure of the 8 week course will be as follows:

  • Week 1: Understanding and managing fatigue
  • Week 2: Continence problems and how to deal with them
  • Week 3: Understanding and managing the symptoms and side effects of hormonal treatment
  • Week 4: How to manage problems with sexual function
  • Week 5: Exercise and the real value of increasing activity
  • Week 6: Impact on relationships
  • Week 7: The need for support and where to get it
  • Week 8: Keeping up momentum

Please call the centre on 01865 751882 or email: to book a place.

GROUP MEETING MONDAY 20 APRIL – Prof. Eila Watson, Brookes University

Professor Watson is already familiar to members who have heard her speak about her research projects at Brookes in collaboration with PCUK.  This time she will talk about ‘Life After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis - information on a major new national study looking at what matters to men following prostate cancer’, due to start in summer 2015.   6.30 p.m. for 7.00 at the Golf Club as usual.


OPCSG’s 2015 AGM was a lively evening attended by 60 members and friends.  Warm thanks were expressed to outgoing Chairman Dave Beesley who had led the group through massive expansion in the last three years, and the committee was proud to announce that Dave had accepted nomination as the first Honorary President of OPCSG. New committee officers elected were: Chairman John Grundy, Vice Chairman and Secretary George Goldsmith, Treasurer John Goldsmith.  Ruth and Gwilym Mason continue as committee members and are joined by Colin Fiford and Dave and Jean Hawes.  The meeting then heard a fascinating presentation by Dr. Richard Bryant (“Research combining minimally invasive surgery and radiotherapy to improve outcomes for advanced prostate cancer”), and Simon Brewster gave his annual update on matters concerning the treatment of prostate cancer in the Oxford area


Volunteers from OPCSG made their annual pilgrimage to Oxford United Football Club to promote awareness of prostate cancer under the ‘Men United’ banner jointly with Prostate Cancer UK.  As well as handing out hundreds of leaflets and interacting with dozens of men, they collected £544 from generous fans, to be split between OPCSG and PCUK. 


This year’s river cruise (two out of cream teas, jazz band and good weather guaranteed, the third prayed for) will depart from Abingdon Bridge at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday 28 June, heading upstream and returning at 5.30.  The cost is £11 per person.  Places are limited: book yours now by contacting George Goldsmith or 01235 763486.  Cheques will need to reach George by  31 May at 2 Ridgeway Court, Wolage Drive, Wantage, OX12 9NP.  There will be a fully stocked bar on board!

CANCER RESEARCH UK OPEN EVENING 11 MARCH – Report from George Goldsmith

Our visit to the Cancer Research Department in March was very different this year – two actors presented a play about the discovery of cancer cells HeLa.    If, like me, you knew nothing of this – read on.  For many years, scientist throughout the world had been trying to find how to keep cancer cell alive, outside of the body for longer than one or two days. This would greatly help all of the research work, but none of the samples retrieved from biopsy’s proved suitable.  In the early 1950’s, in the deep South of the USA, lived black American lady called Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta had a hard life, got married and had children but then was diagnosed with cancer which eventually was fatal. As a matter of routine, biopsy samples were sent to the local laboratory. For reasons that nobody knows, when these cells were worked on, they immediately responded to ‘treatment’ and rapidly multiplied – eureka. The new cells were listed as ‘HeLa cells’, after Henrietta. The amazing fact is that ‘descendants’ of these cells are the ones used today throughout the world for research.    

If you are further interested, there is a book called ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’. Was her family ever rewarded for her contribution to science?


Leading rail holiday operator Great Rail Journeys ( generously donated to OPCSG a holiday voucher for £250 per person (£500 in total), redeemable towards the cost of a Great Rail Journeys European or Worldwide holiday by rail for up to two people.  Entries were received from across the country in a competition for this voucher, and from support group members in Reading, Bedford, York and elsewhere.  The draw was made on 3 April, and the winner was Bill Forfar of Reading, a member of Reading Prostate Cancer Support Group.  Congratulations to Bill and many thanks to all who supported OPCSG by taking part.


Group meetings 2015 - venue (except for river cruise and skittles): The Oxford Golf Club, Hill Top Road, Oxford, OX4 1PF

Monday 20 April – Professor Eila Watson, Brookes University; Monday 15 June David Laskow-Pooley, CEO London Pharma, ‘The history and development of brachytherapy, with added personal experience’. Sunday 28 June - river cruise; Monday 14 September – a representative from Maggie’s Oxford to talk about their services; Monday 19 October Ken Fitt: ‘The growth of popular music in the twentieth century’; Saturday 5 December - skittles evening.

Details of each meeting will be published in following Newsletters and on the website at - do keep looking there.

If you no longer wish to receive this Newsletter please let me know on or 01865 730110.John Grundy

Chairman, OPCSG