The Death-Defying Act All Men Should Perform

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:

  1. Mesmerized by large breasts;
  2. Never need directions;
  3. Love sports (at least watching sports while consuming large amounts of alcohol);
  4. Exaggerators of their sexual prowess and
  5. 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.

29 thoughts on “The Death-Defying Act All Men Should Perform

  1. Pingback: Who Wants To Stroke My Goatee? « The Write Transition

  2. 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 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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