2008-02-01 / Medical Info

'Women Against Prostate Cancer' focuses on education and support

In an effort to provide a comprehensive support system for women with loved ones battling prostate cancer,The Dean and Betty Gallo Prostate Cancer Center (GPCC) atThe Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) has joined forces with the Washington,D.C.-based nonprofit organization Men's Health Network (MHN) to launch a support initiative,which also will focus on education and support.

The resulting collaboration is"Women Against Prostate Cancer,"a coalition, which aims to provide support groups and counseling services to women,whose loved ones are battling the illness.The group boasts a starting membership of more than three-dozen women from across the country, including health-care professionals,wives of prostate cancer survivors and those who have had loved ones die from the disease. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men,other than skin cancer,and the second leading cause of cancer death in men.

Betty Gallo,director of public outreach and government relations at the GPCC and co-founder ofWomenAgainst Prostate Cancer,knows first hand about the illness, as her husband, the late Congressman DeanA.Gallo,died of the disease in 1994. She says oftentimes,women won't address the illness-related issues of impotence, incontinence,and sexual function because they either don't know how,or they're afraid of hurting their loved one. "That lack of discussion can often put a strain on a woman,who often times may be trying to serve as caregiver for their loved one diagnosed with prostate cancer," said Gallo."The focus ofWomen Against Prostate Cancer is to give these women a one-stop resource in which they can find comfort in those going through the same experiences they are."

Theresa Morrow,marketing manager for MHN, says her group is excited to be working with the GPCC to bringWomen Against Prostate Cancer to fruition,"There is a glaring need for a group like this to exist in order to unite the voices of women suffering with the devastating side effects of prostate cancer and who have no where else to turn.With the obvious passion and enthusiasm that the women involved have shown, the group will surely be successful in supporting the millions of women affected by this disease."

WomenAgainst Prostate Cancer kicked off its efforts recently in Baton Rouge,La., at a statewide health forum. Gallo notes the goal is to have the group appear at similar events across the country and to grow the coalition so that a subchapter of WomenAgainst Prostate Cancer can exist in every state.The group also will focus on advocacy efforts in the hopes of attracting more support for prostate cancer funding and research.

Additional information aboutWomen Against Prostate Cancer can be found at www.WomenAgainstProstateCancer.com.

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