Out with Prostate Cancer

Publish Date: 01/04/2013

March was Prostate Cancer awareness month,however prostate cancer affects men all year round so we have to ensure that gay and bisexual men can be informed that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK and its incidence is significantly higher in men over 50.

So How Does it Affect Gay & Bi Men?

Prostate Cancer UK informs us that, “the prostate gland makes the fluid that delivers semen. So for many men, you could say it’s their second favourite part of the body,” and for many gay and bisexual men it will be their favourite part of the body. 1 in 8 men will develop prostate cancer and as the disease and its associated treatments can affect gay and bisexual men differently it is important to discuss these issues with a health professional.

The main treatments available for prostate cancer are surgery (prostatectomy) and radiotherapy, which is often used in combination with hormone therapy. All of these treatments can have side effects such as incontinence, infertility and erectile dysfunction.

These side effects can affect gay and bisexual men differently to heterosexual men. Erectile dysfunction may be a big issue following treatment, also radiotherapy can damage the lining of the rectum and can  affect the sensitivity of the prostate affecting anal sex . If you have your prostate gland surgically removed then your experience of anal sex will be radically different for the rest of your life.

According to Stonewall's Gay and Bisexual Men's Health Survey in 2011 more than two thirds (68%) of gay and bisexual men aged over 50 have never discussed prostate cancer with a health professional.

Findings from a recent report by Prostate Cancer UK and Stonewall exploring the needs of gay and bisexual men dealing with prostate cancer indicate that gay and bisexual men diagnosed with prostate cancer may be reluctant to disclose their sexuality to their doctors or other health professionals and may not be getting the appropriate support or information that they need to make informed decisions about their treatment.That's one of the reason's why a new social and support group has been created.

New Prostate Cancer Support Group in Manchester

Existing support groups may lack the resources or knowledge to be able to confidently offer support to gay and bisexual men, who themselves may be unwilling to disclose their sexuality in this setting. If you are a gay or bisexual man dealing with prostate cancer, then this support group will offer you a safe and confidential environment to discuss your concerns and experiences with other men dealing with the same problems.

The new support group, Out with Prostate Cancer, will meet on the first Saturday of every month (2-4pm) at the LGF’s Community Resource Centre, starting from 6th April 2013. E-mail: outwithprostatecancer@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

If you do not live locally and are willing to travel to attend the group, but may not be able to due to financial reasons then Prostate Cancer UK can help pay towards your travel costs. Contact Prostate Cancer UK's support groups manager, for more information. Email: ann.macewan@prostatecanceruk.org or  Tel: 0141 314 0050. 

Further Information and Support

If you are a gay or bisexual man remember that all of Prostate Cancer UK services are open to you. You can order or download further information about prostate problems or prostate cancer, join the online community or speak to a specialist nurse on our confidential Helpline. Visit: http://prostatecanceruk.org/  or call 0800 074 8383. For more information on gay and bisexual men's issues see: http://malecare.org/