Wake Up Call
This relates to my recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer after successfully defeating prostate cancer for the past eight years.
I felt compelled to put this story in a different format (I've talked about it on video as well), because I felt it was important for men to understand the need to be proactive when it comes to personal health.
Men, especially those under 40, are suffering from a disease with symptoms called I'm indestructible and don’t need to be concerned about my health. If you want to see this in action, go to any restaurant, beach, airport, grocery store, and look around at the men. It's pretty easy to see that many are overweight and are out of shape, and those are just the obvious ones.
If we go a little deeper, we find that many appear healthy on the outside but in reality are walking examples of being skinny fat. Many are doing significant longterm damage to themselves by overeating, consuming quantities of alcohol, not getting enough rest or sleep, and certainly not getting the proper kind of exercise nor personal health care.
I will not even go into the use of recreational drugs and the longterm impacts on both body and mind.
Neglecting personal health
I can't tell you the number of men I've met over the many years since my prostate cancer diagnosis in 2013 who basically had little or no idea of the warning signs for prostate cancer. I cannot tell you the number of men who decide since they don't feel pain, etc., and that there is no reason to go to a doctor's office.
On average men make decisions to neglect their personal health. Working out at the local gym or playing golf may not overcome the damage you do to yourself with eating and drinking.
A lifetime of bad habits
If you look at the statistics regarding the causes of many diseases, you find that a portion of those diseases are due to genetics. When you dig deeper, you discover a lifetime of bad habits can also play a role - basically eating improperly, consuming large quantities of red meat, processed foods, sandwich meats and more.
Yes, the occasional wine or glass of beer is fine, but I've spoken to many men who said, “l don't drink that much.” As the conversation continues, you hear, "I only had 6 cans of beer last night and a few shots of liquor."
In my book that level of consumption just may impact your body over time. I have a close family relative who works in a macho environment where men are men. Everyone goes out to lunch and grabs a hamburger and fries, followed by a few beers.
The longterm impact
If that were not bad enough, after work the same boys get together for a few beers and then play golf on the weekend - of course spending a considerable amount of time at the 19th hole. If common sense can play any role in your life, stop and consider the impact of what you are doing. The impact of what you are doing today may not be seen for decades.
I urge every man reading this to be proactive when it comes to their personal health. Why? Because so many diseases and cancers show no early warning signs when the disease is treatable.
Being proactive about prostate cancer
I think it's important that every man to go in for a physical at least every two years, and then after the age of 50 make an appointment with the urologist to have your prostate checked digitally. I have seen time and time again where general practitioners miss some of the early warning signs of prostate cancer.
These misses can include fault target ranges for PSA levels, as well as missing abnormalities on the prostate gland. It's important to remember the digital prostate exam is only able to reach a small portion of the prostate. Your average general practitioner may or may not have the experience to detect the early signs of cancer hidden deep within the gland.
I would strongly suggest that no matter your age, you consider making changes in your lifestyle because it could save your life.
Have you made personal connections through your journey with prostate cancer?