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.