The Lakes Area Prostate Cancer Group will launch a prostate cancer support group at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd to provide a place of support for those who have experienced prostate cancer in the past, are currently dealing with it or simply wish to become more aware of this common men’s disease.

The first meeting will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12. There is no charge to attend.

Discussion topics will include:

  • Treatments.

  • Decisions in the selection of a medical team.

  • Emotional and physical impact of the cancer on individuals and their families.

  • The need to maintain a positive attitude.

  • The role faith plays in conquering prostate cancer.

Gary Harris, of Nisswa, will be the group moderator. Harris has been fighting serious recurrent metastatic prostate cancer since his diagnosis some 11 years ago. Intending to “pay back," he spent the last two years authoring the book “Man-Opause: My Continuing Battle with Metastatic Prostate Cancer,” describing his medical trials and triumphs and the personal struggles and support from his family and friends.

Having cancer is often one of the most stressful experiences in a person's life. Support groups help many people cope with the emotional aspects of cancer by providing a safe place to share and work through feelings and challenges alongside others who have experienced cancer in the past.