When I was growing up in rural Jamaica, I used to enjoy life. I could run like the wind, and though we were considered poor by world standard the happiness I had knew no boundary.
I would disappear in trees to read a book , sometimes only to observe nature or even go to sleep. My three dogs and a cat would always accompany me as I carried out the chores of minding the chickens, the pigs and the goats. I had always looked beyond though, beyond the horizon of my confinement. Through books from cowboy comics to novels, I had travelled the world and thought everything was good. Nowhere on my horizon had I seen or planned for prostate cancer.
Today I want to observe the good, the bad and the ugly of prostate cancer. This is in hoping, once again that I may be able to touch someone and help them deal with, if not to avoid this disease.
Could there be any good about a disease? Absolutely not! So in the real sense of the term there is nothing good about prostate cancer. However unlike some disease like AIDS, prostate cancer is curable. From that perspective let us classify this fact as the good. For sure if prostate cancer is caught early, that is, before it leaves the prostate gland it can be cured.
That was the situation in my case. The treatment I opted for was that of the prostatectomy where they took the whole gland out. I was 47 years old when I was diagnosed with the disease, and if I could have no further association with prostate cancer that was what I wanted and this procedure answered that for me. So for emphasis prostate cancer is curable and one does not have to die from it. The only way to be a member in this party is that one has to get regular check for the disease. Prostate cancer does not always produce symptoms like the common cold. In fact by the time symptoms are prominent or discernible, it might be too late, and you could find that you are closing the gate while the horse has already gone through. Literally speaking the cancer has left the gland and on its way to killing you.
The bad about prostate cancer is that it is a stealth disease. Unfortunately not everyone will be like me nor like the many who have survived, some of whom have commented on a blogs on this site. One individual who commented on ONE MINUTE MAN actually said to me that after learning about my story he instituted measures to get himself checked. He deliberately did this out of his schedule of a busy life as a city lawyer. Low and behold! He had “Got the thing” as he told me. Not playing around he went and had surgery to remove the gland. After his pathological test was done they found out that the tumor was just about ready to leave the gland. Like a stealth bomber it would have delivered its insidious payload and another one could have bitten the dust.
Another bad thing about prostate cancer is that it affects your very manhood. Its other treatments render you impotent, incontinent, and you basically can’t do anything manly or sexually until you die. Even people with AIDS can have sex, not so if stricken with prostate cancer.
It is no wonder that some women leave their men under these circumstances, as of which happened to a friend of mine in Philadelphia. After 28 years of marriage, she threw the switch and was gone like birds before a hurricane.
For the ugly part I have to borrow some thought from the good. People do not have to have prostate cancer yet they still do. It is the same as you do not have to have rotten teeth yet people still do. This is amazing and amusing at the same time, As not caring about the disease and doing nothing about it can actually kill you, not a fast death but slow and debilitating. That is both the amazing and amusing thing about this ugly part. Failure to do something about this is expressed in these numbers coming from the American Cancer Society, WHICH ARE AS FOLLOWS:
· Life time probability of developing Prostate cancer 1 in 6
· Life time probability of developing lung cancer 1 in 13
· Life time probability of developing colon and rectum 1 in 19
· Life time probability of developing Urinary/Bladder 1 in26
· Life time probability of developing Melanoma 1 in 36
· Life time probability of developing Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 1 in 43
· Life time probability of developing Kidney cancer 1 in 51
· Life time probability of developing Leukemia 1 in 64
· Life time probability of developing Oral Cavity 1 in 69
· Life time probability of developing Stomach cancer 1 in 91
It clear to see here that prostate cancer is the most popular of all cancers where one in six men, not can have but will develop this disease. UGLY INDEED! The ugliness continues where according to the statistics from the ACS where as 100% of whites survive the disease compared to 96% African-American or blacks. An absolute difference of 4% who will die for African –American or Blacks. Ugly! You most likely agree.
Here is another piece of ugliness. This is not to put in your pipe and smoke it but to muse over and to reclaim your health if not avoiding this disease. According to the American Cancer Society it is estimated that 848,170 men will have cancer of which 29% will be PROSTATE CANCER. This is seconded by lung cancer at a distant 14%.
Men and people wake up from your slumber! …A very interesting bird called the Ostrich is known to bury its head in the sand in approaching danger. This is a case of clear and present danger! Wouldn’t you agree it would be foolish to be like the Ostrich and pretend it isn’t there?
I hope you enjoy reading this as I enjoyed supplying it to you. Above all I hope you find it beneficial. Please leave a comment so that I can continue to spread the word. Look for my book with more information regarding my survival at Amazon.com entitled Prostate Cancer And Me…Or You, The Two Stages, (Man To Man).
Until then walk good and pack light.