St. Mary's offering some support for men diagnosed with cancer - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

"Keep looking for other options." Support group helps men cope with cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, men have a nearly a 45 percent risk of developing some form of cancer. 

St. Mary's treats many cancer patients and is now offering a new support group for males.

The idea for a male cancer support group came from a local cancer survivor. Richard Condi was diagnosed with cancer in his lymph nodes in 2009 and knows well the emotional and physical tolls of cancer on ones body.

"I thought it was important. When I was first diagnosed, I couldn't find information on my particular diagnosis. What did people go through when they go through treatments? How did they survive it? What were the after affects. There just wasn't much out there even on the Internet," Condi said.

With little time to decide what to do and even less information out there to help in the decision-making process, Condi underwent surgery and planned on 7 weeks of chemo and radiation.

"But I never made it all through my treatments either," Condi said.  

Condi ended up in intensive care.

"We made it through about 80 percent of my treatments. By then, I had lost a lot of weight. I had a feeding tube they had put in. Initially, they recommended if I got to the point where I could not swallow, that we had the food they could put in that way," Condi said.

He pulled through and after a long recovery with other illnesses spurred on by the cancer, he's got a lot to share. Thoughts he says you can only share with other cancer survivors.  

But most importantly the idea that there is hope.

"Keep looking for other options. Don't always take the first answer if you are not happy with it," Condi said.

The support group is open to men with any form of cancer. They will meet monthly at the Medical Office Building on Bellemeade.

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