One of the major medical stories in the news this year was that prostate cancer has become a bigger killer than breast cancer. But anybody concerned about the disease should take heart that sufferers and their families couldn’t live in a much better place than Chorleywood for support and advice. Chorleywood is the home of FOPS, Friends of Prostate Sufferers,
“ We meet regularly and run social and fund raising events, but most of all we provide a sounding board for men who are experiencing prostate problems.” says FOPS co-founder Bob Arthy.
The difference between FOPS and similar support organisations is threefold – members meet face to face and the group includes two top consultant urologists, Mr Alvan Pope and Mr Julian Shah, who advise and offer hope and encouragement and partners are encouraged to be involved
“It’s often the wives who contact us in the first place as men are too shy or embarrassed”
Newest FOPS member, 53 year old Mark Dalloway, has contracted the disease as a result of gene mutation.
“It’s BRCA2, the same gene that Angelina Jolie has which has been highly publicised in relation to breast cancer” says Mark.
“ I had never met anybody my age who has it. I joined FOPS and discovered (the disease) is not all doom and gloom, it was a real uplift for me to meet those people.”
FOPS committee meet at The Bedford Arms, Chenies. Hotel owner Peter Ratcliffe, has made a full recovery from prostate cancer himself and Peter’s son Michael, Hotel Manager, together with chefs and male staff joined the Movember Foundation and grew moustaches last November. They raised £580 for the charity while a lunch hosted by FOPS at the hotel raised a further £950.
FOPS’s ultimate mission is to spread the word about men’s health and their best vehicle for this is their annual Roadshows ( the next one is 16 April, details opposite)
“ We keep running the Roadshows driven by the reality that they are useful” adds Bob, “After the last one three men came up to me separately and quietly told me that FOPS had saved their lives. How good is that!”