Who We Are
Offering help and hope to men by providing prostate health information
CEO, Russ Thomas, introducing the purpose and aim of the Prostate Forum of Orange County
The Prostate Forum of Orange County is one of the oldest and longest running prostate cancer information and support organization in Orange County, CA. In March 1992 in Fullerton CA, The Prostate Forum was founded by Bill Behn and Murray Corwin.* These remarkable men met and decided to organize a prostate cancer support group where men would have the freedom and support to discuss any aspect of the disease without any censorship or restrictions, which in the early years of the few available support groups wasn’t allowed!
A core group of thirteen men was organized who understood that, in addition to the usual psycho-social support, newly diagnosed men needed detailed medical information to partner with their doctor in choosing an appropriate treatment. Our name was selected, Prostate Forum to reflect our vision of “open dialogue.”
The recall of many sad experiences with the disease is ever present, keeping us focused on the elements of our logo: INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND HOPE. We are an all-volunteer organization with all informational materials, print and video, free to everyone!
The Prostate Forum of Orange County is a member of the Us TOO Foundation International. Us TOO was founded in 1990 by individuals affected by prostate cancer. Us TOO serves as a resource of volunteers with peer-to-peer support and educational materials to help men and their families/caregivers make informed decisions about prostate cancer detection, treatment options and related side effects.
We believe all men with prostate cancer should have access to information and a network of men who can help.
To offer help and hope to men by providing prostate health information.
How we do it
We provide information to men, about both malignant and benign prostatic conditions, who can become more knowledgeable promoting earlier detection. They become more aware of options, thereby facilitating informed decisions.
The Prostate Forum provides a safe and caring meeting place, where prostate survivors may share their feelings, concerns and experiences, ask questions of others in similar situations and receive understanding, empathetic support.
The Prostate Forum is available to support or initiate other similar groups related to the subject of the prostate, especially in the under-represented various ethnic communities.
The Prostate Forum staffs a telephonic HELP-LINE as a general clearing house for objective prostate related knowledge which interested persons may call for information on prostate, support groups etc.
The Prostate Forum provides a vehicle for patients to relay their concerns and questions to the medical experts in the field. Members are requested to share only their feelings, information and experiences with others and NOT to give medical advice since such advice is reserved for physicians.
We designed, produced and found funding for the first national Prostate Cancer Public Forums in 1995 and 1996. These conferences had programs with nationally renowned physicians speaking to lay audiences on the latest medical information on prostate cancer, this was a first. Those Public Forums became a successful model for over a dozen similar symposia in the major cities of the country. By using lectures and self-selected workshops, we presented an opportunity for learning in depth as well as dialoging with the experts. The 1995 Forum attracted 850 attendees from 28 states; the 1996 attracted more than 1200 attendees.
We have assisted the initiation of 4 other prostate cancer support groups in the Southern California.
We are one of the founding members of the California Prostate Cancer Coalition (CPCC).
We are affiliated with PAACT (Patient Advocates for Advanced Cancer Treatment).
We have several members of the Board who are part of a "speakers bureau" to present information about prostate cancer at businesses, government offices and service organizations. Requests often come through the American Cancer Society.
We have provided 25 sets of 5 prostate cancer books to Orange County libraries.
*Note: In conjunction with filing for a 501 [c](3) status in November 2008, the name "Prostate Forum of Fullerton" was officially changed to "Prostate Forum of Orange County"