LGBT Walnut

Book review:
Gay & Bisexual Men Living with Prostate Cancer,
edited by Jane M. Ussher, Janette Perz, and B.R. Simon Rosser

Review by Simon Faulkner of LGBT Walnut: LGBT Prostate Cancer Support (United Kingdom)

• I’m dyslexic – so most books I don’t easily read cover to cover, but with the format of the book it is easy to move around and read bite size amounts.

• As a gay man, diagnosed with prostate cancer 7 ½ years ago and on Active Surveillance, I coordinate the only face-to-face support group for lgbt people at the moment in the London and southeast area in the UK. It’s great to see an informative book talking about gay and bisexual men’s and trans women’s life experiences around a prostate cancer diagnosis. Even within our own lgbtq+ communities, acknowledgment of the nuances of difference of experience around prostate cancer can be something that is not initially recognised or appreciated, so it’s good to get people talking.

• ‘Gay & Bisexual men living with prostate cancer’ is an academic type book: a must for all hospitals/Urinary departments and oncology clinicians. The book provides a platform for discussion, and educates the diverse experience of everyone (gay, bisexual or trans women) who is diagnosed with prostate cancer, and their partners/supporters.

• One small criticism I do have, it’s the title and maybe in lack of content – as not all men are diagnosed early and some are given an advanced prognoses, so unfortunately not all men survive long term. From this point of view, the book does miss out with no ‘palliative’, ‘advanced’ or ‘end of life’ in the Index. At support groups we see those and their family networks who are dealing with these types of journeys too, men who are living with ongoing advanced or palliative treatments. They can be overwhelmed and/or undermined with out of context voices of ‘living with’ or ‘recovery’. We need to work and support them all too.

• For those patients thinking of buying the book, it is good to remember it is based mainly on research and healthcare systems not in the UK, although experiences of those gay, bisexual men and trans women with prostate cancer is often shared in common – so a must for health professionals.

About LGBT Walnut
LGBT Walnut is an independent support group for any LGBT person affected by prostate cancer. The group started as part of the METRO Walnut project at METRO Charity. METRO employs the Prostate Cancer Peer Support Group Coordinator, Simon Faulkner, and provides meeting space at their Vauxhall site. LGBT Walnut mainly covers the Greater London area and parts of South-East England but welcomes you wherever you are based.

Reviewed by Simon Faulkner of lgbt-walnut