Sunday, November 19, 2006


So many things I never expected to write about..............................

I remember when the word breast was not to be said aloud, let alone breast cancer. By the time everyone knew someone who had it; the words had lost the stigma and could be said out loud, and even in mixed company. Lives are being saved every day because we can talk about it.

Now men are in the same situation we women were. The words prostate and testicle are spoken in whispers only, and to link them with the word cancer is not to be considered. At the time my grandfather passed away from the complications of prostate cancer at the age of 87, I did not even know what a prostate was. Lives are being lost because of it.

A very few years ago, a young friend was shoeing his horse when she kicked him in the groin, damaging one testicle to the point that it had to be removed. As is common practice, it was sent for biopsy. The report came back positive for cancer, the silent type where there is no indication that something is wrong until far too late. The only way it could have been detected was by blood tests, which would have shown elevated hormone levels. All of the cancerous tissue had been removed so he opted for follow up blood tests rather than invasive preventative treatment. He was still clear after five years and has since married and has a young son.

In order to have more success stories, we must do the same for men as we have done for ourselves…..we must desensitize the words so that it is OK to talk about, OK to perform self examinations to spot changes in the early stages, OK to go to the doctor for regular check ups or if they suspect a problem.

As women, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters… we need to help make the subject talked about as freely as breast cancer. We can help save lives that way.

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