Monday, 11 February

Oxfordshire Prostate Cancer Support Group

Newsletter February 2019

AGM 2019 MONDAY 4 MARCH 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.

A separate notice of the AGM has already been circulated to members.  After the AGM our two distinguished speakers from the Churchill will be consultants Mr. Simon Brewster and Prof. Richard Bryant.  Their subject is "The use of MRI prior to diagnostic biopsy and during prostate cancer active surveillance".  Their research (with others) into the use of MRI with active surveillance has not only been published in the November edition of the British Journal of Urology International, but was awarded article of the week by the editor.  You can read more here:           NB: There will not be a raffle at the AGM.


Two messages that came to me from the Churchill confirmed the value of the work OPCSG does with men and their families.  A consultant at the Churchill wrote to me:  "A number of men have commented on the excellent information and support they’ve been able to access through OPCSG."

And the Macmillan physiotherapist at the hospital agrees.  She wrote: “I was hearing great things from a patient last week about how OPCSG had helped him come to a decision regarding surgery!”

So massive thanks to those members who take referral calls from enquirers and talk to them about their personal experience of treatment.  It’s our most valuable single activity.


Over the Christmas period OPCSG has received some generous donations, which are much appreciated.

  1. Through the good offices of OPCSG member Mike Breakell, on 21 December a well-established group of carollers in and around the Handboroughs, known as the Carol Crawl group, raised £251.87 for OPCSG with what their leader describes as their 'sonorous efforts'.  It's good to know that traditional carol singing is alive and well, and we are most grateful to this group for their efforts on behalf of prostate cancer patients whom we support.
  2. OPCSG member Ian Van Maanen writes: “I am a member of the Abingdon Duplicate Bridge Club which each year organises a special Xmas event with a raffle. The proceeds of the raffle are donated to a charity of the members' choice, and I nominated OPCSG. The cause proved to be very popular, as a result the club collected about £130 for OPCSG.”  Thank you, bridge players.
  3. The recent Mayor of Witney, Cllr Chris Woodward, sent us a cheque for £140 as a result of charitable work during his year on office.  Thank you Mr Mayor!
  4. And Jason Hydraulics of Witney, whose boss is our long-standing member Fred Edwards, had a Christmas collection among their staff, resulting in a cheque for £112.72.  It’s not the first time that this company’s staff have supported OPCSG – many thanks to all of them.

We also received a very generous Christmas donation of £100 from a member via MyDonate.  If you, your family or friends would like to make a New Year donation to OPCSG, the easiest way to do so is via our MyDonate page:  If you are a tax payer you can add Gift Aid.  Thank you to all the above.


In 2018 OPCSG donated £2000 towards the purchase of a robotic simulator at the Churchill.  It is used in the training of surgeons who are learning to perform keyhole prostate surgery, both in the re-training of experienced surgeons and with medical students.  Recently four Committee members went, at the invitation of consultant Alastair Lamb, to see how the simulator is used.  When you don 3D glasses you have an amazing image of the internal organs on the screen, and it was fascinating to see the dexterity of the operators.  We are proud that OPCSG has contributed.


OPCSG has a number of international links.  A few years ago our Committee member John Goldsmith, on holiday with Janet in Australia, met Roy Francis, Convenor of Mornington Peninsula Prostate Support Group near Melbourne.  We have been exchanging ideas ever since.  Roy chairs a fantastically active support group, aided by the fact that it is based in a retirement home area so there is a natural audience of men of a certain age!  His work was recently rewarded as Roy was named Victorian Senior of the Year for his outstanding contribution to local community and the state of Victoria for promoting cancer awareness.  High profile indeed.  Well done Roy!  He writes: “The greatest pleasure for us was the excitement and profile the award gave to the organisations for whom we volunteer. We now "operate" the prostate support group under the banner of the Men's Health Group at The Bays Hospital, Mornington, which Helen & I founded and Co-Chair. The urologists all refer their patients to the group, and we rapidly outgrew the Seminar Room at the hospital.”


The following dates have been fixed for meetings and events in 2019.  NB: April and June meetings have been swapped since the last Newsletter.

Group meetings at Oxford Golf Club in 2019, Mondays at 6.30 for 7.00 p.m.:

4 March – AGM, with Simon Brewster and Dr Richard Bryant, “The use of MRI prior to diagnostic biopsy and during prostate cancer active surveillance.”

15 April – Timon Colegrove on his experience of proton beam therapy, with representatives from Rutherford Health Care

10 June – Partners’ forum led by Committee member Caroline Prance, psychiatric nurse, supported by the Principal of Somerville College, Baroness Jan Royall.

9 September – Mr William French, retired butler to HM The Queen, on his working life as butler to the Royal Family and other distinguished people

14 October – Simon Lord, OPCSG member, will talk about his new role as a personal trainer and developer of exercises for prostate cancer patients.  He recently qualified to work in cancer rehabilitation.  The benefits adviser from Maggie’s, Atif Kaudri, will also be on hand to give advice.

River cruise: Sunday 23 June                                                     Skittles: December date and venue to be finalised


The OPCSG big white bus will be taking part in the Wallingford Classic Car Rally on Sunday 12 May.  By agreement with Oxford Bus Company, the bus will be OPCSG’s centre for the day.  Instead of talking to members of the public in front of our gazebo, we’ll use the bus as a base and really catch the eye.  We hope this will be the first of several such occasions to spread the word via the bus – Get Checked!

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