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Local Cancer Charity Launches Appeal

Local cancer charity, CancerHelp (Preston) Ltd has launched an Appeal to replace funds that have been lost through Covid-19
The organisation, which is based at Vine House in Ribbleton supports cancer sufferers throughout the Preston and South Ribble areas. In addition to counselling, they also provide a variety of complementary therapy services. 
Vine House also accommodates, free of charge, nine different cancer related support groups, including The Walnut Group (Prostate Cancer Support Group) which recently organised the PSA Testing Session at Leyland Civic Centre
General Manager, Jeanette Smalley, said “Most of our income comes from three sources - Contract work, which we carry out on behalf of the local NHS, our four charity shops and various fundraising activities that are arranged throughout the year.
“As I am sure you will appreciate, at this time, the shops have closed and the fundraising activities have been cancelled. 
“Our premises are closed at the moment, although we are continuing to work behind closed doors, giving as much help and advice as we can either online or via the telephone.
The big problem will come when we get the ‘all clear’ and are able to resume our normal services. We have little doubt that there will be a greater demand than ever and we want to be in a position to meet that demand. To enable us to do so, we need to start our planning now, which is why we have launched the appeal for funds. We have set up a Just Giving page at
We know that times are hard for everyone and would be very grateful for any help that your readers can give us. If anyone wishes to contact me, please phone 01772 793344 during normal office hours.”
A spokesperson for the Walnut Group added “We cannot overstate how important CancerHelp is to the Preston and South Ribble Communities. The help and advice that they give to local cancer sufferers is invaluable and we would ask anyone who can to support this appeal”

A message from The Walnut Group

The Walnut Group was established in 2011 as a patient/carer support group for men at various stages in their journey with Prostate Cancer, their partners and their families.
The Group meets at Vine House in Cromwell Road, Ribbleton, Preston at 6.00pm on the first Wednesday of every month  and covers Preston, South Ribble, Chorley and parts of the Fylde. Everyone is welcome and there is no charge.
In addition to the monthly meetings, members enjoy social events, meals out and day-trips to places of interest
The Group also promotes awareness of the disease and regularly attends Information events. 
In 2016, the Walnut Group was involved in arranging Preston’s first open PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) Testing, which involves a simple blood test and since then has organised two further sessions. The three events attracted nearly 1000 men, about 100 of whom were advised to contact their own doctors for further tests. 

Latest from the Walnut Group

The recent death of former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Leon Spinks, has, once again, highlighted the need for greater awareness of Prostate Cancer, a disease that claims the lives of up to 11,000 men in the UK every year.
Spinks, who was just 67 years old, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2019 and died on February 5th.
Colin Piddington, who is chairman of the Preston based Prostate Cancer Patient and Carer Support Group (The Walnut Group) said “1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives and the passing of Leon Spinks shows that this disease can affect even the fittest of men.”
Mr Piddington’s remarks come as the group approaches the anniversary of the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) Testing Session which they organised at the Leyland Civic Centre. 542 men were tested and 32 of them were referred to their own GPs.
"Unfortunately, because of Covid, we have been unable to hold any further sessions and it’s unlikely that we will be able to arrange another one until 2022 at the earliest, but the problem hasn’t gone away.” he continued, "In fact, 47,000 men are diagnosed in the UK every year. By coincidence, only this week, we have been contacted by a man who, as a result of the testing last year, has been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer which could have gone undetected for years and then developed into something far more serious.
The PSA Test is not definitive, but it’s a good indicator that further checks should be carried out and we’d like to encourage all men over 50 years of age to speak with their doctors about a test. This reduces to age 45 if they have a family history of the disease or if they are black."

Men should also see their doctor if they have any of the following symptoms:

            * frequent urges to urinate, especially at night

           * difficulty starting or maintaining urination

            * pain when urinating

            * blood in urine or semen

            * pain when ejaculating

            * difficulty getting or maintaining an erection

“Although the Group hasn’t met since March last year,” Mr Piddington concluded, “We want to make it clear that we are still available on the phone for anyone who has any queries or who simply wants a chat. Our numbers are 07891 521348 (Colin), 07780 682592 (Godfrey) and 07743 825818 (George).”

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If you have ever been plagued by that most unsightly of conditions, Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, and tried all the various remedies withou success? Then fear no more as help is at hand. Forget all the expensive creams and lotions that never seem to work. The answer, believe it or not, lies in the little blue pot shown above - Vicks VapoRub. Yes, that well known ointment, originally designed for cough suppression, contains active ingredients such as camphor and eucalyptus oil and has proven to have positive clinical effect in the treatment of toenail fungus.

Our very own 'Bard' had suffered with this condition for many a year and yet after just 3 weeks using it he has reported that the new toenail coming through looks perfectly clear and he is obviously delighted. To use, apply a small amount of Vicks VapoRub to the affected area at least once a day.


Glaucoma – Not necessarily an old person’s disease!


Let me tell you a salutary tale regarding the folly of not having a regular eye check. Our resident 'Bard' finally decided it was time once more to visit the opticians as it had been 14 years since his previous appointment and varifocals where just about at their limit of usefulness - So off he trotted to his local Specsavers.

All went well until he received the dreaded news that the initial eye test indicated that he may have developed the condition known as glaucoma and that further tests were required. The optician was very forthright, saying she couldn't understand why people past their first bloom of youth didn't have regular eye tests as the condition, if identified early, can be successfully treated by eye drops. However, if the condition has been present for some time and not detected and treated then permanent nerve damage could have occurred, which in the most serious cases can lead to a partial loss of vision or even total blindness.

She also stressed that although the condition was more prevalent in the older generation, it was possible for younger people to contract it. Suitably chastened our 'Bard' reckoned it was worth spreading the news and so after words with our editor it was decided that this could be achieved through the good offices of the BBB on our new medical page.

So if it is some time since you last visited an optician, we urge you to make an appointment NOW! In most cases the prognosis will be fine and you can leave with the assurance that 'Should have gone to - you know where' is certainly sound advice that we all, young and old, should follow.

The diagram at the start of this article gives you some idea of just what glaucoma is and how it can develop.



How Old is Your Heart?

Want to know how old your heart really is and how long you are likely to live? - You do? Well for an instant guide just log onto and complete the lifestyle survey. The results may surprise you. Bear in mind this survey only relates to the heart and cannot take into account factors such as being run over by a bus, kidnapped by aliens or being shot by a jealous love rival!


Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator - The Tongue.

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

 Remember the 1st Three Letters..... S. T. R.

Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify.. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i..e. It is sunny out today.)
R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call the emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue

NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this then passes it on to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved.

We have done our part. Hope you, our readers, will do the same!!


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