In response to the Bloggers for Movember challenge from A Clown on Fire, I agreed to write an article in November about raising awareness to prevent cancer, specifically prostate cancer.
I am all too acquainted with cancer. My wife of nearly forty years died of metastatic breast cancer. My father died of colon cancer. My maternal grandmother died of stomach cancer. Close friends succumbed to lymphoma and pancreatic cancer.
No one goes looking for cancer. No one says “Hey there cancer, how about paying me a visit for a while?” In many cases, the occurrence is a result of heredity rather than habits. As a result of my blood line connection to cancer, I get to pay a visit to my gastroenterologist, or Dr. Roto-Rootor as I call him, more often than I wish.
We can’t change our heredity but we can change our habits.
Women, in their wisdom, realize that men are simple beings who can be defined, as a group, by annoyingly similar behaviors (or, if you have been colonized by the British, behaviours). As a group, men are:
- Mesmerized by large breasts;
- Never need directions;
- Love sports (at least watching sports while consuming large amounts of alcohol);
- Exaggerators of their sexual prowess and
- Believers that all illnesses can be cured by ignoring them.
Real men don’t go to doctors; that’s for sissies. A man can severely injure a limb and say that it was just a scratch. They can have a bruise the size of Rhode Island and claim that it’s a small bruise and you should see the one they got two years ago while playing ice hockey. Whatever illness, disease, disfiguration or disability a real man has, it will just go away if you give it enough time. Of course, the man may go away (permanently) before the illness or disease, thus making the argument moot.
It is astonishing that most men will perform all sorts of jackass acts – like jumping from helicopters to ski down mountains, motorcycling without a helmet, extreme boxing, playing chicken with sharp objects, go paragliding or skateboarding at ages when they should be playing shuffleboard – but won’t perform the one death-defying act that could save their half-witted lives, getting a prostate exam.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers to affect American men. A very good friend of mine was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Through early detection and treatment, he is now, years later, still cancer free. Yes, he does have to go for regular follow-up visits. The point is that he is around to have those follow-up visits.
Men, defy death. If you are over fifty or have a family history of prostate cancer, get a prostate exam.
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This post served as a public service; I would never have know I had breast cancer if not for a routine mammogram which permitted it to be treated before it spread. Wonderful post.
I’m glad the post resonated with you and others.
Your title is perfect. Thanks for writing this.
Well, thank you for your nice comment.
You speak from experience(s), not one of which is to be taken lightly. Thank you for poking and prodding with your wisdom to do a simple task to save men’s lives.
You give me more credit than I deserve. My hope was to encourage people (male and female) to take some simple preventive steps to help themselves.
Sometimes we all need a nudge.
Cancer unquestionably affected you, so I appreciate your insight and words of wisdom. Well done!
Thank you. I appreciate your response.
Cancer is a bitch/bastard, and I’m sorry for your losses. There’s far too much history of it in my family, too. Hope your post comes as a wake-up call to someone who needs to hear it.
Thank you for your comment. It would be nice if someone read this post and said maybe I should take a closer look at my health record and perform some preventive care.
This post really made me think. I am so sorry that you have had so much illness and sorrow to deal with. Thank you for posting about it.
Thank you for your comments. The family illnesses were spread over a long period of time and I had time to adjust. I was trying to make a point that illnesses like cancer and heart disease are not uncommon and need to be watched, especially if there is a family history.
This is such an awesome article! I don’t have any other words for it.
Among getting a prostate exam, men should do much more death defying acts such as seeing a shrink when they went through something traumatizing, and as you say: see a doctor when somethings wrong, period.
I would like to add you to my blogroll, would you like to do a link exchange? You can find my blog here.
You are correct about the need for all people (male and female) to seek help when something is wrong. Too often they ignore the problem or they misdiagnose their own problem.
Sage advice and written with such flair. Hopefully your intended audience will heed this warning. 🙂 Great article.
Thank you for your comments and let’s hope that people in general will take the time to review their well-being.
Erma Bombeck, in her book about Children with cancer, said “It will come as a shock to no one that cancer isn’t something you put on your ‘List of Things to Do Today.'” I suppose most men don’t put a prostate exam on their To Do list, either, but should.
Women go for Pap tests and get their ins
Real clown don’t publish great post like this on Facebook. No they don’t. Especially like not now…
Thanks, Le Clown.
My father-in-law died of colon cancer so my husband has been vigilant about his health. He is probably in the small minority.
Glad you posted this!
It’s my hope that men and women will at least look for warning signs and get a regular check-up.
Curmudgeon, I am sorry to hear that your family has been so touched by cancer. Particularly to hear that such a long marriage was ended by such a cruel disease.
But I am glad that you’re a man who knows and does what’s best for him, and can encourage others to do the same.
Thanks for your concern. All too often we ignore our health and pay the price.
I’m sorry to hear cancer has reared its ugly head in your loved ones so many times. It is truly a non-discriminator and a cruel beast. As you point out, screenings are important even if they’re inconvenient and not so fun (like a colonoscopy, or as I prefer to call it–the black snake). But they can help save lives. Excellent post.
The number of incidents didn’t occur to me until I did this post. They happened over many years so it’s something I have accepted. Cancer is, indeed, non-discriminating.