There probably could be as much attention paid to prostate cancer as there is to breast cancer if men would stand up and take a stand for their prostate health, as women do for their breast health. There may be a little bit of shame involved about the male anatomy, even though men won’t admit it. You are not likely to hear TV ads for prostate health on the 6 o’clock news, like you would for breast cancer. You aren’t likely to see cans of soup on the shelves with a prostate cancer symbol on the label, because for some reason men don’t put their genitals and their prostate out on “Front Street,” the way women stand up for breast health. On August 31 of 2009, President Barak Obama proclaimed that the month of September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Most people probably weren’t even aware of it, and probably don’t even remember hearing it on the news or reading it in their local newspapers.
Much money is donated to the American Cancer Society for different types of cancer, but the most money is donated for breast cancer awareness and breast cancer research. There should be bumper stickers, coffee mugs, and other fund raising items available for prostate cancer awareness. Now that prostate cancer has a month dedicated to it just as breast cancer does, there may be more money raised for the cause, and there may be more awareness. Hopefully, by next September you will be hearing much more about where to donate money to prostate cancer awareness programs and prostate cancer research programs.
Everyone has heard of Susan B. Komen and her fund raising events. You would have to be from another planet not to have ever heard of her. Susan B. Komen events raise huge sums of money to be used for breast cancer research. When was the last time you have heard of an event for prostate cancer research? Hopefully, in the future, you may be hearing about events and rallies to raise money and awareness about prostate cancer.
It is the men who have fallen short, because they have not banded together to educate the masses; they need to make everyone aware of the importance of their prostate health. The numbers are about the same between breast cancer and prostate cancer; nearly as many men die of prostate cancer as women do of breast cancer each year. Just as breast cancer does not discriminate among women, prostate cancer does not discriminate among men. Men are more likely to get prostate cancer sometime in their lives than women are to get breast cancer. Nearly 80 percent of men will get prostate cancer, if they live long enough.
Women are very vocal about breast cancer awareness, and they are also more vocal about uterine, ovarian and cervical cancer than men are about their penile, testicular and prostate health. Everyone has fears about cancer, but we, as men and women, should not be so afraid, but try to understand what is going on with them. Men seem unwilling to “sound off” about their prostate health the way women speak up for their breast health. Men often comfort their fears by believing that ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is not bliss; ignorance kills.
If there is gender discrimination, it is brought on by the men themselves. Women are very vocal about their breast health, but men are not as vocal about their prostate health. Most men don’t even want to talk about anything associated with their male health. Men don’t want to talk about checking their prostates every 6 months. Men should learn how to check their prostates, just like women have had to learn how to check their breasts. Many men are embarrassed to talk about their bodies in front of millions of people, but if they want prostate health to gain more attention, men will have to band together and become more vocal about their bodies and their health.