Our support services
We are a prostate cancer information and support centre that provides free programs and supports for men and their families living on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. We are dedicated to providing clear, comprehensive and unbiased information, education and counseling in-person, online, or by phone to anyone interested in learning more about prostate health. Our services and programs ensure men and their families are supported in their journey through prostate cancer. Our goal is to help you feel supported and informed about prostate health, prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment options and the latest developments in research. We do not receive any core government funding. We rely on generous contributions of time and money from individuals, businesses and foundations to help us deliver men’s health services to Vancouver Island. We are grateful for the ongoing support from our strong sponsors and community partners showcased at the bottom of this web page. For more, contact Island Prostate Centre
Nurse Support Program
You likely have questions – our nurses have answers. After an initial diagnosis, you may need time to reflect and ask more questions. Here at Island Prostate Centre, we are ready when you are. Our Nurse Support Program provides in-person and over the phone private counseling support for men and their families. The Nurse Support Program is for men in the pre-treatment decision-making state, men who are in active treatment, and those men who are dealing with survivorship issues. These knowledgeable nurses offer uncomplicated, straightforward information on prostate health, prostate cancer treatment options, and what to expect. To book an appointment with one of our nurses, please contact us.
Prostate Cancer Support Group
You are not alone. Island Prostate Cancer Support Group is a place to meet and hear from men who have had, or are going through treatment themselves, as well as listen to leading doctors and speakers in the field. If you don’t live in Victoria, but would still like to hear from our guest speakers we provide the video from each speaker series here. Our Prostate Cancer Support Group provides:
- Information – A venue for sharing information, both in a formal format through presentations from medical professionals, and through informal discussion with other group members.
- Peer Support – A caring environment where anyone touched by prostate cancer can discuss their situation and bring up concerns and issues with others who have experienced the disease. This can be tremendously reassuring for those who are newly diagnosed. Members from the group also provide hospital visitation for those receiving surgical treatment.
- 6:45 – 7:00: Sign in
- 7:00 – 7:05: Opening remarks and information about activities and events in which Island Prostate Centre are engaged
- 7:05 – 7:15: Introduction of new members
- 7:15 – 8:15: Presentation by an expert speaker from the medical community
- 8:15 – 8:30: Refreshment break
- 8:30 – 9:00: Break out into discussion groups according to treatment type (men who have had surgery talk together, men who have had radiation talk together, etc.). There is also a discussion group for those attendees who are in a supporting role, such as spouses, partners, family members, etc. The medical presenter is encouraged to participate, though the discussion groups are primarily a space to informally share information and personal experiences.
- Thursday, April 5th, 2018 – Dr. Lori McFarlane, Inspire Health. Topic: Optimizing lifestyle factors for patients with prostate cancer
- Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 – Dr. Abe Alexander, Radiation Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency
- Thursday, June 7th, 2018 – Laura Werner, Registered Physiotherapist with specific training in the management and treatment of pelvic floor, abdominal, uro-gynecological and lumbopelvic dysfunctions. Topic: Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation
Support Group Contact
The Prostate Cancer Support Group is organized by Island Prostate Centre, who can be contacted by filling out this form. Additionally, Support Group presentations and the award-winning video “Prostate Cancer: Your Treatment Options” are available on DVD by contacting Island Prostate Centre or by filling out this form.
Free psychological counselling
To help you cope Island Prostate Centre has secured the services of a community psychologist who provides up to three hours of free counseling for men, couples and families who are struggling with any aspect of a prostate cancer diagnosis. Please contact the counselor’s office directly and indicate that you are a client of the Centre: Dr. Michael Boissevain: 250-592-6869 1834 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria BC
The Benefits of Counseling
How common is emotional distress in cancer patients?
Between 35 – 45% of all cancer patients experience significant emotional distress, including depression.
How common is emotional distress in families and caregivers?
Studies have found that family members experience as much, if not more, distress as the patients. Family members typically experience fear of loneliness, a sense of helplessness, lifestyle disruption and uncertainty. Family members struggle with the possibility of the death of their loved one.
How counseling helps
Cope with reactions to cancer
- Anger at having the disease
- Fear of cancer
- Changes to your body
- Anxiety about treatment
- Fear of cancer coming back
- Anger at not getting clear answers
- Loss of control
- Feelings of guilt
- Wondering if life will ever seem normal again
- Grief and sadness
Address family issues
- Relationship or family counseling
- How the family can be supportive
- Changes in roles within your family
- Talking with your children
Confront practical issues
- Reorganize finances
- Plan how to raise issues with your doctor
- Plan how to talk to your employer and co-workers
- Solve transportation / accommodation problems
- Obtain information
Explore personal issues
- Assess relationships, sexuality, and career or leisure pursuits
- Clarify values, goals and priorities
- Make the most of your life
Victoria Prostate Cancer Supportive Care (PCSC) Program
This is a comprehensive survivorship program for men with prostate cancer, their partners and families from the time of diagnosis onwards, which provides support with treatment decision making, rehabilitation needs post-treatment and lifestyle management.
Introduction to Prostate Cancer and Primary Treatment Options
A 2-hour group information session for men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, which is jointly presented by a urologist and a radiation oncologist. Diagnosis, treatment options, side effects and side effect management.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy for Urinary Incontinence
A 90-minute group information session that is suitable for patients both pre and post prostate cancer treatment to understand what can be done to reduce the effects of surgery and radiation therapy on urinary function.
DAPPER Nutrition Program
Classes take place on the 1st and 3rd Tues of every month from 10:30-12 noon in the Patient Education Room (located on the 3rd floor at the BC Cancer Agency). The session will consist of a 60-minute interactive presentation followed by 30 mins for questions and further discussion
Recognition and Management of Treatment-Related Side Effects of Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT)
This is a 90-minute group information session for patients with prostate cancer who may be starting or currently on hormone therapy, and their partners. Facilitated by the IPC Resource Nurse, strategies for managing the side effects of ADT are presented in a classroom setting, and spouses/partners are most welcome!
Managing the Impact of Prostate Cancer Treatments on Sexual Function
This is a 90-minute group information session which focuses on the sexual side effects of prostate cancer treatments and sexual rehabilitation.
All information sessions are offered monthly at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Island Centre.
**For more information on the PCSC Program, please contact Sarah Mahovlich at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-519-5500 ext. 693709 to enrol.
Cancer Recovery Exercise Program
We can help you stay active. Our Exercise Program is a community-based program for prostate cancer patients and survivors designed to encompass exercise and education. It is designed to accommodate men going through treatment or who may be suffering from post-treatment side effects –arming them with the education, motivation and the tools to be physically active. The Exercise Program follows current exercise guidelines for cancer survivors and patients, but it is tailored to the needs of each participant. It combines aerobic exercises with strength, flexibility, balance and core stabilization.
Mondays and Thursdays, 9:30 am – 10:45 am (for “seasoned” participants), 10:45 am – 12:00 (for “newbies”)
Location: Monday: PISE – AET Clinic (4371 Interurban Road), Thursday at Sons of Norway House (1110 Hillside Avenue).
This is a free program, and participants can register when they arrive at the session. For more information, please contact Island Prostate Centre.
Country Grocer Men’s Health Day – annual education and testing event
In 2017, our Country Grocer Men’s Health Day provided our community with 625 free PSA tests. 37 of those test results were elevated, with 11 of them at a higher risk for prostate cancer.
These patients required follow up with their family physician.
The event encourages men to implement positive lifestyle choices for themselves and to seek early and appropriate treatment for disease and injury. Contact Island Prostate Centre for more information. Please note our next Men’s Health Day will take place in September 2018.
Generously sponsored by:
Country Grocer / Westcoast Motorcycle Ride to Live / Used.ca / Island Health / Beckman Coulter / NexGen Jim Pattison Toyota Victoria / Odlum Brown / CIBC Wood Gundy / Berwick Royal Oak and Berwick House
The Lending Library
Island Prostate Centre has a full library of books, DVDs, magazines and informational pamphlets on prostate cancer, prostate health, erectile dysfunction, incontinence, and other urological and oncological health issues. You are welcome to look at these resources at our Victoria office, or take them home for a short lending period. If you live outside of Victoria, we can provide you with links to useful online resources. For more information, please contact Island Prostate Centre.
Thank you to our generous sponsors.