Prostate Cancer Support to begin meeting again

Prostate Cancer Support to begin meeting again
Teri Stein

Craig Barnett and Dave Meese, prostate cancer survivors, will begin hosting in-person support group meetings again on Sept. 21 at the Geib Family Center in New Philadelphia.


The local prostate cancer support group will meet again starting this month on Sept. 21 for the first time since in-person meetings were suspended due to the pandemic. Because the pandemic is still a concern, they have changed the meetings to the Geib Family Center in downtown New Philadelphia so there will be plenty of space for the group to spread out.

The group meets the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. and is headed by Craig Barnett and Dave Meese, both prostate cancer survivors. They were quick to point out September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Though they helped a few men during the pandemic, they are eager to get back to in-person meetings to help others at any stage of the disease and post-treatment. Prostate cancer is a disease that can have many life-changing side effects.

“It affects some people more than others,” Meese said. “Some people don’t know the side effects, which are mostly urinary problems.”

The prostate helps control the flow of urine in men as it sits directly below the bladder. If the organ is removed as part of the cancer treatment, it’s important to retrain groin muscles using Kegel exercises. Meese said this can take some time and could be an ongoing problem for some patients.

Barnett and Meese want to make sure men have information they need about the different treatments available, and guests at the meetings will be able to speak with others who have undergone treatment.

When Barnett had the robotic surgery treatment early on in its development, he spent much time looking for information on the computer.

“The information on there was nothing,” Barnett said.

Fortunately, there is much more information available online. Barnett and Meese are working to get caught up on new information since their last in-person meeting.

“There’s a lot to catch up on,” Barnett said.

Meese recently received some information on a newer proton therapy treatment that focuses on treating the prostate without causing harm to the surrounding tissue.

Meese also is in contact with several organizations that send him educational material on prostate cancer that he can redistribute. He also has attended events held by various prostate cancer organizations to get materials. Some sources include and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

It’s important to find prostate cancer early as it offers the best chance to recover and live cancer free. Prostate cancer treatments are showing success. According to the website, the most recent research shows the five-year survival rate for all men with prostate cancer is nearly 100%. The relative 10-year survival rate is 98% and 96% for 15 years.

For men who are at risk, it’s important to not only get a PSA blood test, but also a digital exam. Sometimes, the exam will find a lump when the blood test doesn’t indicate a problem. Prostate cancer can be hereditary and can show up in tests that determine whether a man or woman can pass on the gene.

According to what the men learned, 1-in-8 men will develop prostate cancer.

Men are welcome to attend the meetings to learn more, and they can just show up. They do not have to make arrangements ahead of time. There are many treatments available including watchful waiting, surgery, radiation therapy, cryotherapy, chemotherapy and more. Treatments may even be combined depending on the case.

Men who attend the meeting can tell their story to the group if they wish or sit and listen. The groups are usually small with anywhere from six to 10 men attending each month.

Barnett and Meese thanked the Geib Funeral Homes and Crematories for the use of the New Philadelphia family center for meetings.

Call Meese at 330-339-4184 or email

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