Friday, 23 April 2010

Cooking for the prostate

It was published almost a year ago. But, says N&EDPSA member David Warner, there are still men he knows who have never heard of soya or lycopene even though they are members of the support group that he runs for Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

N&EDPSA stands for North & East Devon Prostate Support Association of course - the letters PSA should be an obvious clue to the purpose of the group, associated as they are with the most common test for a disease which kills one man every hour in the UK.

So anything which can be said to slow down prostate cancer's progress has to be a good thing, and David, pictured above with urology/oncology specialist nurse Jane Billing from the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, was happy to recommend the Prostate Care Cookbook at the Association's local branch meeting on 22 April 2010.

Above: Soya milk, an alternative to dairy products, and tomatoes, rich in lycopene, are both recommended by many experts to fight prostate cancer

I did promise myself that I wouldn't be one of those people who bang on about their cancer in their blogs, especially after giving you at some of the gory details following last year's surgery. And most especially because I'm now supposed to be cured, and therefore free from cancer.

But, maybe because I'm still suffering from the almost inevitable side effects of my prostatectomy, I went along to the Association's meeting at the splendid Tidwell Manor, just outside Budleigh, hoping for some useful tips on coping with unmentionable problems. About half the 20 or so total membership of the local branch were there, including some partners, who are always welcome.

Tidwell Manor is a superb location for the N&EDPSA meetings
And the best thing about the N&EDPSA is that no problem is unmentionable at their meetings. Most of the dozen or so people there are "living with cancer" and some were formidably knowledgeable on the subject of prostate cancer and the various treatments available while somehow retaining their sense of humour about the disease. And guest speaker Jane Billing was even more formidably able to answer their streams of questions, with an approach which managed to combine expert knowledge and down to earthness. There was also useful advice on issues such as travel insurance for prostate cancer sufferers.

Treating prostate cancer is not "an exact science" and there were plenty of "however"s in Jane's explanations of the latest research. She admitted that there is even a lot of contradictory evidence about diet, including variants such as air pollution which affect the cancer rates in different countries. I came away feeling a bit more reassured, and more than ever sure that most men need to be better informed about their prostate.

The next main meeting of the N&EDPSA takes place in Exeter on 15 July, with the next local branch meeting at Tidwell Manor on 21 July. For further information about the Association contact David Warner on 01395 442707 or click on to access the website.
The Prostate Care Cookbook costs £12.99 from any bookshop, and contains a useful 50-page introduction about prostate cancer.

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