The following are suggestions for starting a Prostate Cancer Network or reinvigorating one.

The Logistics:

  • Discussion groupThe location should be handicapped accessible
  • There should be male and female bathrooms nearby
  • Have refreshments available at the start of the meeting – people tend to gather around the food this serves to break the ice
  • Each person should wear a name tag
  • A sign-in sheet with name, address, phone number, and e-mail address should be circulated
  • Each individual should receive a personal greeting (smile, wave, hug, handshake) from the group facilitator
  • Newcomers should receive a special welcome and introduction to the group
  • Seating should be in a circle, U shape, square, or rectangular – members of the group must be able to make eye contact with one another
  • Remind all attendees that what is said in meeting is confidential

Suggestions for Programs Without a Speaker

  • Begin with any special announcements such as the speaker for the next meeting, information  from groups such as Maine Coalition to Fight Prostate Cancer, US TOO, newspaper or TV reports concerning prostate cancer or individuals in the group
  • Each individual should be invited to share their story - never start with the new person(s)
  • Spend time brainstorming program themes such as “The Blessings of Prostate Cancer”
  • Conduct a “Brag Time” – let members of the group brag about an event that has nothing to do with prostate cancer. Examples would be “my grandchild lost her first tooth” or “look, my cast came off.”

Suggestions for Programs With a Speaker From the Medical Community

  • Radiologist
  • Oncologist
  • Primary care physician
  • Pathologist
  • Geneticist
  • Nurse navigator
  • Urologist
  • Surgeons
  • Psychologists
  • Physical therapist
  • Sex therapist
  • Nutritionist
  • Science person

Suggestion for Programs Dealing with Complimentary Therapies

  • Yoga
  • Reiki
  • Tai Chi
  • Qi Gong
  • Massage Therapy
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture/Tapping
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation Responses
  • Dealing with stress
  • Family/Relationship Counseling
  • Hospice Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Caring for Caregivers

Other Program Topics

  • Librarians – to discuss ordering prostate cancer books
  • Lawyers
  • Presentation about advanced directives
  • Financial Planners – not there to sell plans!
  • Clergy – perhaps a panel of several demonizations
  • Patients Rights Advocate
  • How to do journaling
  • How to create oral histories of the prostate cancer journey