Blue September and the Unsexy Cancer

Now, you could argue no cancer is sexy, but some get a lot more publicity, funding and sympathy than others.

My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer early last year at the tender age of 49, six weeks before we got married. His dad was also was diagnosed with the same cancer but at a much older age.

September is marked as Blue September, a month for raising awareness for a cancer that kills as many men as breast cancer kills women each year, and that is also chronically un-diagnosed, and unrepresented in research and funding.

Every year over 500 men die in New Zealand of prostate cancer.  That is more than 500 fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers – gone!

Men are often unaware just how dangerous the disease is, they often avoid seeing their doctor about it, they simply don’t do anything about it. The most important thing to know is that prostate cancer can be prevented if detected early enough.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation encourages people to paint their faces blue during September, donate money to the Prostate Cancer Foundation  or just spread the word.

My husband did go and see his doctor, did have the rectal exam men are so afraid of and a few uncomfortable ones besides… and after treatment, he is recovered and doing exceptionally well, with very few lingering side effects. So because he made the decision to ‘suck it up’ and see his doctor he is still with me and his children and friends and will be for many years to come.

We found a lot of helpful reading in the Christchurch City Library collection about the prostate and prostate cancer, and although it is frustrating when a specialist won’t just tell you which treatment to do, it really is important to do the research yourself, and the right treatment for you will emerge.

So if you know a man over 40, encourage, nay nag them to go for a check up, if you are a man over 40, go and have one yourself. You WILL survive the exam with your manhood and dignity intact and you just may save your own life, if not for yourself, but for the people who love you.

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