Why we’re ‘Out with Prostate Cancer’

Publish Date: 01/11/2013

Manchester is home to the UK’s first support and social group for gay and bisexual men affected by Prostate Cancer and 6 months after forming in April 2013, the group goes from strength to strength and its influence is being felt across the country.

The Out with Prostate Cancer Support Group offers a place for free exchange of information and help for gay and bi-sexual men and their supporters (family and friends) who may be affected by this increasingly common form of male cancer. Some members of the group have been affected by other cancers and the group aims to offer support around the similar issues that affect men affected by other cancers which affect men’s sexual health and general wellbeing.

Martin Wells is the group’s Chairman and as a Prostate Cancer survivor himself he knows only too well why there is a need for the group and for more information and services for gay and bisexual men affected by such issues. Martin went from setting up his own Prostate Cancer Support Group in East Lancashire to talking with other gay men before setting up ‘Out With Prostate Cancer’. Martin comments. ‘I’ve been to various Prostate Cancer Support groups but often as the only out gay man  it isn’t easy to discuss my needs, particularly issues such as  my own sexuality, sex between two men and  personal issues such as erectile dysfunction”.  

Over the summer the group has been well attended with men travelling from across England to join men in Manchester and furthermore reaching people through their own website and Twitter. The group have recently received support from Macmillan and Prostate Cancer UK to pay for promotional materials and it is hoped that over the time the group will offer more outreach support to men all over the country with other satellite groups developing across other cities as well as offering support via a helpline and social media.

The issue of how gay and bisexual men are affected by Prostate Cancer has been featured in various health publications  including Prostate Cancer UK who included a section in their 'Prostate Cancer and Your Sex Life' booklet for gay and bisexual men, with more information going online soon.  However the one thing that is still missing is unique information aimed exclusively at gay and bisexual men on Prostate and other cancers.

Sean Ralph is a therapy radiographer in the NHS who has written many articles on this subject and as a gay man himself helps steer the ‘Out With Prostate Cancer’ group: “There is no evidence to suggest that gay and bisexual men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer,” says Sean.”However, if you are in a relationship with another man, you are twice as likely as a heterosexual man or woman to have to deal with prostate cancer in your lifetime; as both partners will have a prostate gland. The main treatments available for prostate cancer can have gruesome side effects such as incontinence, infertility and erectile dysfunction. These side effects can affect gay and bisexual men differently to heterosexual men”.

These are just some of the issues we want to address with a new resource for gay & bisexual men on Male Cancers that The Lesbian & Gay Foundation are currently raising funds to produce.

You can support the campaign here

For more on ‘Out with Prostate Cancer’ go here

For further support checkout Prostate Cancer UK