Friday, March 18, 2016

State of the Prostate (Update)

I’ve always been aware of cancer. I thought the definition was:
(‘kansər) n. An often fatal disease that other people may get in one body part or another.
The keyword is other. This is supposed to happen to people on TV or in the news. Sure, I’m sorry to lose a David Bowie or an Alan Rickman, but hey, they’re not me.

And body parts? If you follow the social media, breast cancer is the trending one … the meme. You see pictures of joggers with their pink ribbons running through big arches of pink balloons. But you don’t see anyone racing for prostate cancer, past tall columns of blue balloons.

Prostate cancer is supposed to be like cut, cut … ok, you’re all set. Have a nice life.

Not cut, cut … hmmm … ok, zap, zap … hmmm … ok, take 20 of these every day for the rest of your life. And by the way, don’t worry. You won’t need a refill.

When you first get a cancer diagnosis, it’s like being hit by a meteorite. It’s random … unpredictable.

Of course, you immediately (well, after you get past the denial) start rationalizing. What did I do wrong? How could I have prevented this? Too many carbs? Not enough exercise? The answer is: Probably all of the above, and then again, no. This is not like heart disease or diabetes or one of those other conditions the medical establishment loves to blame on the patient. Cancer gets you some slack. Doctors blame it on your genes, so you’re off the hook. You can’t help your genes, right?

In fact, if you’re male, your odds of getting cancer somewhere at some point in your life are 1 in 2. If you’re female, 1 in 3. So other guy, you owe me!

But it’s not completely random. Cancer does have a purpose. It’s purpose is to make you stop and think “What am I doing with my life?” If you don’t have cancer, it wouldn’t hurt to think about this anyway.

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