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Bookham Support Group

Topic of Cancer founders, Nigel Lewis Baker and John Blackburn
Topic of Cancer started out as a local cancer support group offering patients, families, friends, carers, charities, therapists and professionals the opportunity to meet socially to exchange experiences and resources. Members’ journeys with cancer vary widely and we learn a lot from each other and relax with others who understand us and our situation.

We invited guest speakers each month to educate and entertain us as well as enjoying a social gathering. The group was started by John Blackburn and Nigel Lewis-Baker, both local men and cancer patients with close association to both Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Care.

The Thatcher’s Hotel, East Horsley, very generously hosts our meetings.


John Blackburn

John (right in picture) was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2000 aged 52 and had chemo and radio therapy which seemed to do the trick. Unfortunately, John sadly passed away in May, 2015.

Nigel Lewis-Baker MBE

Nigel (left in picture) was diagnosed with inoperable and incurable Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer in May 2004 aged 58 at St Luke’s Cancer Centre, Royal Surrey County Hospital and had a course of seven weeks intensive radiotherapy with ongoing hormone therapy. When the first hormone started to fail he volunteered for a 14 month vaccine trial being run by Prof Hardev Pandha and the research team in Guildford and on completion, as the PSA was rising a little too rapidly, was put on the two alternative hormones together. The PSA was kept under control until December 2009 when the hormone approach began to fail again and he took part in another trial that was ended early due to the side-effects. He is currently being checked every 3 months and hoping for another trial soon as he is now castrate resistant.

Nigel was honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2014, with an MBE specifically for the work of Topic of Cancer.