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Rules | Participation | Establishing a Password | Participating by Email
Participating from the Archives Web Pages | Searching the Archives
Managing Your Subscription by E-mail | Managing Your Subscription on the Web
Coping with Message Volume | Questions and Problems


We request that you read and observe these rules as a condition of your participation on the PPML:

1. Commercial postings are strictly prohibited.

2. The PPML is for patients, their supporters, and allied professionals. If you have joined for any other purpose, please contact the facilitators. Do not post surveys or questionnaires, attempt to recruit subscribers for research projects, or solicit funds for any cause or purpose without approval of the facilitators.

3. Respect copyright — do not post copyrighted materials. This includes, among other things, extensive quotations of the text from online news articles, or of text from medical studies that would usually require payment of a fee to download. Short quotations are okay, and abstracts of medical studies are okay. In the case of online news articles, the best practice might be to summarize the content, then provide the URL of the article’s web page.

Also, messages posted to the PPML should be considered to be “copyrighted” by the author. They should not be posted to other internet forums without the author’s permission.

4. Don’t post off-topic material. No virus warnings or chain letters, please. If you wish to discuss off-topic matters with other subscribers, do it by private email.

5. Be civil. We usually get along very well, but e-mail discussion lists are sometimes vulnerable to misunderstandings. Consider carefully how you phrase your posts, as online disputes can be extremely disruptive to the flow of useful communication. If you find yourself in a dispute with someone, try to settle the matter by personal e-mail. (Usually, the PPML facilitators will attempt to resolve disputes between subscribers by this means.)

6. Respect political and religious diversity. Politics are generally off-topic except in matters relating to legislation affecting cancer patients — but avoid partisan rhetoric. Avoid sectarian religious discussions, preaching, proselytizing.

The PPML is an unmoderated forum, meaning that messages sent to the mailing list are usually posted without prior review. Subscribers who have failed to observe these rules or engage in other disruptive behavior may be placed in “review” status — their messages will be forwarded to the facilitators for approval before they are sent on to the list.


When asking for input from other subscribers, it is helpful if you provide as much relevant medical information as you have available.

Responses are almost guaranteed to all inquiries presented. However, the functioning of this list is spontaneous and unsystematic, and messages asking for input may sometimes be overlooked. If there are insufficient responses within a day or two, try posting your inquiry again.

When replying to questions from other subscribers about treatment issues, it may not be helpful to offer opinions without explanation of the reasoning behind them. It is best to take the time to provide detail about why you feel the information you offer is valid. It is most particularly helpful if you can provide links to authoritative web pages that support the validity of your information.

Be sure that the “Subject” of your message is appropriate to the matters you are discussing. If you are replying to a message in a thread, use the same exact format for the subject, unless you are shifting the discussion to another topic.

When you are replying to messages with inclusion of quoted text from the message to which you are replying, please delete all quoted text and footers that are irrelevant to what you are discussing. This is particularly helpful for subscribers who receive PPML messages in digest format.

Establishing a Password

Unless you are starting a new subscription or unsubscribing, you need to establish a password in order to access all the features of the archives and subscription management web pages. To do this, click on a “Log In” link on any L-Soft web page. (Here is the one for the PPML.) When the Log In dialogue box comes up, click on the link “Get a new LISTSERV password”. Another dialogue box will come up. Follow the instructions here. You will receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your password before it will be fully established.

After you have logged in, you will be asked if you want to save your password. If you do so, and unless you log out, you will be able to use both the subscription pages and PPML archives pages on your next visit without having to re-enter your password.

When you are logged in, this notation will appear in the upper left corner of any L-Soft webpage: “Logged in as:”, with your subscription e-mail address.

Participating by E-mail

Messages to the list should be addressed to:

If you chose the “Regular” option when you subscribed, PPML e-mail messages will arrive in your Inbox singly, immediately after they are posted to the list. If you selected the “Digest” option, you will receive them in bundled installments. Depending on how many messages are posted, you will usually receive one to usually not more than about three digests daily.

If you are receiving PPML messages individually rather than in the digest mode, you can reply to messages by clicking on “reply” in your mail management program tool bar.

If you are receiving PPML messages in the digest mode, most mail management programs will allow you to reply to messages by selecting the text of the message to which you want to reply, and then clicking on “reply” in the toolbar. However, you will need to delete the “PROSTATE Digest…etc.” text from the “Subject” field and replace it with the “Subject” of the original message.

It is best to send e-mail to the PPML in plain text format, as the server software is not always able to translate HTML, RTF, and other “exotic” formats to plain text without introducing unintended line feeds and unintelligible formatting code.

Attachments are not accepted.

Please do not “broadcast post” — this is addressing a single message to several e-mail forums. This is acceptable practice on some forums, but our concern is that when subscribers to the PPML or subscribers to the other forums reply to such messages and their messages appear on one or more but not all forums, considerable confusion may result when subscribers to each of the forums attempt to follow the thread of the discussion. Unless they are subscribed to the other forums, they will not have access to all the messages that were submitted. It is best to send separate messages addressed to each of the forums.

Participating from the Archives Webpages

Searchable archives of past discussions going back to July 1995 are stored in the PPML Archives.

It is possible to suspend e-mail delivery of PPML messages and participate in discussions solely through the archives webpages. You can browse current messages here, and compose and send messages. Your subscription address will be automatically appended to your messages.

From the archives pages, you can browse current discussions in a variety of ways. Usually the most convenient way is to view them by date with latest messages at the top, but the order can be reversed by clicking on the label at the head of the date column. Messages can also be viewed by topic or by author, in ascending or descending order, depending on how you click on the labels at the top of each column.

As you mouse over each message, a pop-up window will show the first lines of the message. This can be convenient for sorting out which messages you may have previously read.

Searching the Archives

On the archives web pages, if you click on the link for “Advanced Options” in the “Search Archives” box in the right column, you are presented with a form that will allow you to enter search criteria for keywords, subject, and/or author’s email address. You can narrow the search by providing a starting and ending date. The question marks beside each category of entry provide links to help pages.

Searching the archives for the exact information you are interested in may sometimes be time-consuming, tedious, and not always productive. Feel free to post a message to the PPML to inquire whether anyone has knowledge of what you want to research! Among our over 1300 subscribers, there is likely to be someone who has knowledge of your concern, or is aware of web sites where authoritative information about it is available.

Managing Your Subscription by E-mail

To modify your settings by e-mail, address a message to:

You can leave the subject blank. In the body of the message, type any of the following commands:

UNSUB PROSTATE (to terminate your subscription)

SUB PROSTATE [Your Name] (to start a new subscription — substitute your actual first and last names — don’t use brackets)

SET PROSTATE NODIGEST (to change to single message mode)

SET PROSTATE DIGEST (to change to digest mode)

SET PROSTATE NOMAIL (to temporarily suspend delivery)

SET PROSTATE MAIL (to resume delivery)

QUERY PROSTATE (to receive an e-mail review of your subscription options settings)

CH PROSTATE [new e-mail address] (to change your subscription address — don’t use brackets — this must be sent from your old address)

Managing Your Subscription on the Web

The web page for modifying your subscription settings is here:

To see the full features of the subscription management webpage, you must be logged in. The most useful settings here are:

It may be best to leave the other options at their default settings, as some of them don’t work with some operating systems or mail management programs.

If you are logged in, you can change your subscription address to a new e-mail address by replacing your existing e-mail address in the “E-mail Address” box, then clicking on “Update Options” at the bottom of the web page. The ListServ will send an e-mail to your new address, asking you to confirm the change.

Coping With Message Volume

Volume of messages posted to the PPML may occasionally be very heavy, sometimes more that 50 messages in a day, and if you are receiving messages singly, this can swamp your Inbox. There are several ways of avoiding this:

1. Most e-mail management programs provide means to divert incoming mail of specific kinds from your Inbox to specially created folders as soon as they are downloaded. A convenient criteria for diverting PPML messsages is “all messages with [PPML] in the subject”. You can then browse PPML messages separately within this folder, at your convenience.

2. Set your subscription options to not receive e-mail messages, and browse them in the PPML archives.

3. Subscribe to the PPML through a web-based e-mail service and receive all PPML e-mail at this address. If you do this, be sure to establish a strong password consisting of a mix of several numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. Hackers all too frequently use robotic software to crack password codes at these services, then use the e-mail accounts they have broken into to send spam and viruses to the user’s correspondents.

4. Change your subscription settings to digest format. However, this option has some disadvantages. Unless you refer to the the PPML archives, there may be a considerable delay before you see recent messages, and if you respond to messages, you may not be able to take recent messages into consideration when you compose your replies. In plain text digests, all recent messages are presented in their entirety in one long e-mail, and viewing them requires a great deal of scrolling.

Some subscribers may find it convenient to set their subscription options (as described on the L-Soft subscription management pages on the web) to receive digests in alternative formats: HTML, mime, and/or Indexed. The indexed option presents hyperlinked topics only, and when you are online you can click on the links to download the text of the messages. Not all e-mail management programs support these formats.

Questions and Problems

If you have questions or problems with the PPML, send an e-mail to:

Such e-mails will be received only by the facilitators. You can also reach us at our personal addresses.

We wish you success in finding help with your questions!

The PPML Facilitators
(Last revised: August 16, 2018)

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