Cancer and embarassment

This is directed to all the guys of Naktiv. It's a couple of years old, but wise counsel has no expiration date.

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Here's a sobering statistic: according to the American Cancer Society estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2012, about 241,740 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, and about 28,170 men will die of prostate cancer.

An appalling reality: a lot of those deaths are of big, tough, macho men who refuse the screening because it's embarassing or uncomfortable. All those manly men cringe and get squeamish about the thought of a gloved finger inserted in the aft portal to palpate the prostate. What they don't grasp is that by the time the cancer reveals itself symptomatically, the available treatments will be far more invasive than a doctor's gloved index finger.

By the way, the gloved finger is a breeze compared to the probe used for prostate biopsy. The sensation is of being in the prison shower room with the Jolly Green Giant, and then being repeatedly shot by a staple gun.

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Sobering statistic No. 2: according to ACS' most recent estimates for testicular cancer in the United States for 2012, about 8,590 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed and about 360 men will die of testicular cancer.

Unlike prostate cancer, which is generally found in men over 40, testicular cancer is a young man's disease, with half of the cases being in men in the 20 to 34 range. Yep, all those immortal young guys who think they're immune to everything.

If the embarassment factor is high for prostate cancer, the examination for testicular cancer is over the top. You're standing there in front of the doctor, who is sitting on a stool staring intently at your genitalia and feeling your nads for abnormalities. If the doc happens to be a young, attractive lady...

There is little wonder that it kills so many men despite its being the most curable form of cancer. They apparently would rather die than have the family jewels handled.

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Sobering statistic No. 3: the ACS estimated that in 2012, there would be 103,170 new cases of colon cancer and 40,290 new cases of rectal cancer, and that they would cause 51,690 deaths of men and women.

And then there's the colonoscopy snake. You're lying on your side with your knees pulled up while the colonoscopy probe — all five feet of it — slides into your exposed butt looking for polyps and other undesirable growths. Embarassment Central.

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I'm a survivor of all those procedures, including the biopsy. The point of the above can be summed up as follows;

• Deaths from prostate cancer: 28,170
• Deaths from testicular cancer: 360
• Deaths from colorectal cancer: 51,690
• Deaths from being embarassed: 0

Over the years I have concluded that I have absolutely nothing that the medical professionals have not seen thousands of times. When I disrobe, it's with the awareness that no one who sees me will be in the slightest interested in the dimensions of my pubic paraphernalia or the tightness of my butt (thankfully). I'm there for a service that they can provide, and since the service involves a human body, it must be exposed for the duration.

What's a life worth? Is it worth the embarassment of being the only one nude and the discomfort and invasiveness of the procedures? The simple answer: absolutely!

Embarassment lasts a few minutes. Cancer can last for the rest of your life. If you're one of those all-too-common guys who avoid the screenings because the thought makes you uneasy, swallow the pride and the hesitation, and have the tests. Whatever the outcomes, you will know. That's infinitely better than ignorance that can kill.

Nudists have a distinct advantage over the textiles when it comes to being "undraped" in front of others, but the same apprehensions can surface. As the awesome Brits say, keep a stiff upper lip and do it. REAL men care for themselves and their loved ones and suffer the indignities gladly.

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2 thoughts on “Cancer and embarassment”

  1. Luckily, I haven't had the "pleasure" of any of these procedures (yet), but I would probably be more embarrassed at the bike shop for neglecting maintenance on the Kawa than for seeing a doctor about any bodypart. Nothing on or in my body that the doctors haven't seen a thousand times before.

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