Friends and Bredrins offering help to male cancer sufferers
A NEW support group aims to help African Caribbean men who have cancer.
Around 40 people attended the launch of Friends And Bredrins (FAB) yesterday at Big Poppas restaurant, in Alfreton Road.
Wayne Marston, 48, of Mapperley, decided to set up the club after his own battle with cancer three years ago.
Mr Marston decided to get tested after his father, Dudley Marston, died of prostate cancer 13 years ago.
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"My father's death came as a complete shock to the whole family," Mr Marston said.
"He had been complaining about pain sporadically but by the time they found out it was prostate cancer, it had spread and he died within two weeks."
Mr Marston's early test made it possible for the prostate to be removed using keyhole surgery before the cancer could spread.
"I still have tests every six months, but effectively it's been fully removed," Mr Marston, a dad-of-four, said.
"It's so important to get tested early and not to see it as an old man's disease."
Since his surgery, Mr Marston has been giving various talks about his story in London, Sheffield and around Nottingham.
"I want to raise awareness about the issue, especially because prostate cancer appears predominantly in black men."
Research has shown that African Caribbean men living in England are three times more likely to get prostate cancer than white men.
Mr Marston, a social worker, said: "I didn't have a great deal of support when I was diagnosed, which is one of the reasons why I felt this was so important.
"I thought there was a need to try to encourage men to meet up and talk about it.
"Our group is open to people with all kinds of cancer, but it just so happens that the majority of our members have prostate cancer."
One member of FAB is Lloyd Ferron – a Bestwood Park-based holistic practitioner. He will be giving complimentary pain relief treatments, which normally cost around £35 per session.
"Once the painkillers started to wear off, the pain was absolutely excruciating," Mr Marston said.
"I could have done with someone like Lloyd to treat the pain, which is why it is great to have him on board."
FAB, which is not exclusively for African Caribbean men, will meet every second Wednesday of the month from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at Self Help Nottingham's office is in Ormiston House in Pelham Street.
For more information, call 0115 934842 or 07985 999 372.