Did you know that 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives; that it is the most common form of cancer amongst men; that the main age of infection is over 50 and the risk increases with age; that the average age of prostate cancer victims is between 70-74; that you are 2.5 times more likely to get prostate cancer if your father or brother has been diagnosed with it; and if you are living in the UK and are black you are three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men of the same age?
It’s my cousins 42nd birthday party and I am in the kitchen trying to escape from the deathly cold that billows around the mass of bodies brave enough to stand in the back garden. I have become the butt of most people’s jokes and curiosities because we are having a barbecue and I have decided to be vegetarian for the month of August.
The beers have been flowing and everyone, apart from yours truly, is a little worse for wear. The party wants to know why I have decided to be a vegetarian for the month, and I have told them that I made the choice to help me understand how my vegetarian clients feel, as well as learning about our food industry, and how difficult they make it for the life of a vegetarian. They just think I’m nuts.
I am asked what other bizarre things I have tried for a month at a time, and I tell them about the time I decided to stick my finger up my bum to clean my anus more thoroughly after going to the toilet, after reading the Tao of Sexology by Dr Stephen T. Chang, who had a belief that is could be one of the causes of prostate cancer.
Societal conditioning strikes again as all of the men think the act of sticking my finger up my bum to clean away fecal matter is gay, whilst the women just play the Lee is mental line again. I just think it is a normal reaction when you learn that decaying toxic waste is being left to prosper in your anus.
The conversation then moved quickly from fingering my anus to the fact that I pee myself regularly. Not a full blown shower, but no matter how many times I shake my penis after I have been to the toilet, more urine will leave my urethra minutes after I have finished urinating. Once again everyone thought this was hilarious, so you can imagine how funny they thought I was when I told them that I could no longer ejaculate when I came, and instead it just came out in dribbles. I’m not sure if it does this during sex because I wear a condom, but when I masturbate I no longer ejaculate.
The ejaculation story ended my kitchen act and the crowd dispersed a contented bunch. There were three of us left and the eldest member of the group told us how he had recently noticed that when he urinated, it no longer came out in a jet stream and instead sprinkled everywhere. A friend had told him that it may be the onset of prostate cancer and so after a few weeks he plucked up the courage to go and see his GP.
The man told us how he didn’t tell anybody about his visit and he was scared stiff that he had cancer.
“I am not ready to die yet.” He told us.
The GP carried out the examination and found that his prostate had become enlarged, which is the very first signs of the development of prostate cancer but nothing to worry about. He now has a few pills to take and that is the end of that. I asked him if the GP had offered him any other advice to help him reduce the likelihood of prostate cancer and he said he didn’t. Just take the pills and ask no complicated questions, seems to be the way forward.
Another gentlemen who was in the small group told us that he did a lot of work with prostate cancer groups and that from what he could hear I was displaying the signs of having a problem with my prostate. This was something I was aware of and if I am being honest with you, the only reason I hadn’t been to see the doctor was the thought of him sticking his finger up my bum. The thought just seems dirty, painful and impersonal.
Rewind a little here? I am scared of a man putting his finger up my bum, when he could be preventing me from dying from prostate cancer? You do the math…and yet my point of this story is this is what happens in real life. Men do not normally talk about these things, and even when they do they don’t admit to them. How many people feel the urge to share that they pee their pants and dribble when they come? How many men fail to go to the doctors because of pride? How many men think it’s gay to allow someone to put their finger up their bum?
I have booked an appointment to see my GP a week on Friday. I am not worried that I have prostate cancer, but I do think there is something wrong with my prostate. I have been doing some EFT tapping work around the issue and have been flooding my mind with positive thoughts. I will write about my experience with my GP and any follow up checks that I have in connection to the appointment.
In the meantime if you are a man and there are strange things happening to your body, talk to someone about it, research online and most of all go and see your GP. These simple acts can save your life and to allow our own ego to stand in the way – like I have done for the past year – it just ridiculous. Make it a habit to be more open about your problems, especially to those closest to you and take preventative action, not reactive.
If you don’t feel comfortable sharing your stories with anyone, then why not do it here anonymously? Do you have any strange symptoms that can be connected to prostate cancer?
Photo courtesy of Ben Sutherland cc @ flickr.com