Break The Silence That Surrounds Prostate Cancer
Let’s face it … ego and pride prevent most men from talking openly about any issues occurring below their belt line. Typically, men do not speak with other men about prostate cancer (PCa), erectile dysfunction (ED) or urinary incontinence (UI).
While silence is viewed as being manly, the silence that surrounds men’s health has reached critical proportions. Today this wall of silence is negatively impacting the lives of husbands, fathers, sons and grandfathers across the country. The resulting lack of communication also creates a lack of interest by the health care industry especially when it comes to prevention, new research and treatments for prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society – just one example – has all but abandoned funding for prostate cancer awareness education.
At the same time men in their 40’s and 30’s are being diagnosed with prostate cancer well in advance of the suggested testing guidelines offered by the U.S. Preventative Services Taskforce. In sharp contrast the “Pink” breast cancer awareness campaign encourages open communication. The result of this effort has produced staggering returns in securing resources, treatments and awareness. Nothing comes close in the fight against prostate cancer, a disease that takes the lives of 30,000 and impacts almost 3 million men in the United States.
While men are beginning to selectively share their personal stories within prostate cancer support groups, the real need is for all men to speak up about the dangers of prostate cancer and at the same time personally take an active role in their own health care screenings.
Until the formation of the National Prostate Cancer Awareness Foundation (PCaAWARE) no organization in the United States focused exclusively on the need for men to be aware and to speak up about this silent killer.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
First: Be sure you sign up for an annual physical exam and request a PSA test. While PSA testing is not 100% reliable it can give you an indication of potential troubles that might lie ahead. Keep track of your PSA number to see if it is rising. A steady progression (velocity) along with an annual physical exam is an important defense in the early detection of this disease. If you are an African American male you have a 56% higher risk for contracting this disease than a Caucasian male and chances are it will be discovered in an advanced stage.
Second: Support the work of PCaAware. Your personal contributions allow us to reach men and the women in their lives through our network of nationwide corporate seminars and workshops. Contact us about scheduling an event at your company, church group or association. Make a personal contribution today, your support allows us to offer these educational events at no cost to men who desperately need information.
Third: Speak up … increasing the level of conversation surrounding the prevention, detection and treatment of prostate cancer may just save your life of the life of someone close to you.