Vital service reaches 10-year milestone
TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - When Bob Tuck, a retired school principal
in North Bay, was told he had aggressive prostate cancer, he simply
didn't believe it. "My PSA [prostate specific antigen test] was up, but
I had no symptoms. I felt fine," he says. "My doctor said 'you don't
have cancer, but let's do a biopsy just to see what's going on.' " A
few weeks later, Bob and his wife were told by a urologist, "You have
prostate cancer and it's aggressive."
"I was stunned, in complete shock," says Bob. "The first thing we did
when we got home that day was call the Canadian Cancer Society's
information line. They gave us so much helpful information and
reassurance. Two days later I was set up with a support group with 5
other men dealing with prostate cancer. They devoted the whole evening
to me," he says.
That was 8 years ago. Since then, Bob has undergone surgery, 37 rounds
of radiation and 4 years of hormone therapy to treat the cancer. Today,
at 72, Bob is fit and active, working out at the local YMCA 5 days a
week during the winter and playing golf every day in the summer. He
devotes much of his free time to volunteering for the Canadian Cancer
Society. "The Society's Peer Support Service is great," he says. "I
speak to men who have prostate cancer and who have many of the same
questions and worries that I had. I can say 'here's what worked for me
and what didn't; here are some things you should consider.' I always
make sure they check with their doctor to ensure that what worked for
me is compatible with their treatment. When you have cancer, it's a
tremendous help to hear that someone else has been through it and has
come out the other side."
Our free Peer Support Service connects people with cancer one-on-one
with trained volunteers who listen, provide hope, offer encouragement
and share ideas for coping - all from their unique perspective as
someone who's been there. This confidential phone service is tailored
to the individual's needs and preferences. We match every individual
with a suitable volunteer based on a number of factors, including
cancer type, sex, language and lifestyle.
Since its inception 10 years ago, the Peer Support Service has helped
60,000 people deal with cancer. Last year alone, 5,400 cancer patients
and caregivers shared their experiences with a peer who had been on
their own cancer journey. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, they
and their loved ones may feel like their world has turned upside down.
We know that talking to others who've gone through a similar experience
Many people who have used this service say it helped them get a better
understanding of what to expect throughout their or their loved one's
cancer experience, making them feel more hopeful and less anxious. And
it helped them cope.
A recent study by the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact showed
that the Society's Peer Support Service has a positive impact on cancer
patients and their families.
Some results from the survey:
96% of those surveyed said peer support gave them a chance to talk with
someone who's been there
93% said it made them feel more supported
92% said it made them feel less alone
91% said it helped them cope
88% said it made them feel less anxious
84% said it made them feel more in control of their life
For more information on our Peer Support Service and other services,
visit cancer.ca, call us at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the
fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent
cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From
this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever
so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive.
Image with caption: "Bob Tuck, a cancer survivor, volunteers with the Canadian Cancer Society's Peer Support Service (CNW Group/Canadian Cancer Society (National Office))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131129_C5991_PHOTO_EN_34073.jpg
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)
For further information:
Bilingual Communications Specialist
Canadian Cancer Society