Noted author/researcher to address local support group
Our local prostate cancer support group welcomes noted author and researcher, Dr. Richard Wassersug (pictured above) to their Wednesday, February 21 meeting at the College of the Rockies.
Dr. Wassersug has a PhD in Biology, but changed his focus when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is now researching, writing and lecturing on androgen deprivation therapies (ADT), known as hormone treatments.
Wassersug has made it a point to talk to as many support groups as will invite him.
“It’s hard to get speakers to come to Cranbrook from the coast,” said support group leader, Kevin Higgins. “But Richard is such a unique individual. He figured out how to get here at no cost to us.” Dr. Wassersug will be presenting a paper at the Cancer Survivorship Symposium: Advancing Care and Research in Orlando, Florida. He arranged his return to Vancouver to go through Calgary and then Cranbrook so he could meet with the Cranbrook group.
ADT is used for men with advanced prostate disease. It stops the body from producing testosterone, which feeds prostate cancer. Like so many other drugs, ADT has a batch of side effects that make life difficult for many patients. Hot flashes, lack of muscle tone, breast enlargement and loss of libido are a few of the major ones.
Where one might think of a prostate support group being for men only, one should think again. Men are not known to suffer in silence and this suffering is often shared with their partners. Wassersug’s talks are best shared with your partner. So the support group will especially welcome women to this special session.
Dr. Wassersug will present two 45-minute talks with a refreshment break between. His first presentation is The Reality of the ADT (i.e., Hormone Therapy) and Managing ADT Side Effects. Following the break he will present Understanding and Overcoming the Impact of Prostate Cancer Treatments on Male Identity and Sexuality. This second session will involve some very explicit talk and is designed to meet the issues in an open and frank manner.
As lead author of the book, Androgen Deprivation Therapy An Essential Guide for Prostate Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones, Dr. Wassersug is working on the second edition due out later this year.
The local support group is affiliated with the Prostate Cancer Foundation BC and with Prostate Cancer Canada Network. The group meets monthly at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday at the College of the Rockies’ main campus. This is a totally volunteer group and there is never a cost to attend any meetings. Everyone is welcome to come out.
For more information call Kevin Higgins (250-427-3322) or Dennis Parsons (250-489-5249).