Why Prostate Cancer Languishes
If you are a prostate cancer survivor, someone working in the advocacy field, or a family member, you may have asked yourself why prostate cancer, with its larger annual new case toll, seems to neglected in comparison to breast cancer.
One critical element that Karen M. Kedrowski and Marilyn Stine Sarow uncovered is simply that men simply won’t – for a number of reasons – take an active role in making public the true scope and impact of prostate cancer.
Cancer Activism: Gender, Media, and Public Policy
I’ll be talking more in future posts about the author’s findings, but the one message that came through loud and clear to me is that men’s reluctance to talk about their personal experiences with the disease makes the disease’s impact almost invisible in the public policy arena.
Journalists Always Focus on Incontinence & Impotence. Just How Widespread?
Many men avoid testing and treatment out of fear of potential treatment side effects such as incontinence and impotence. These side effects do occur and the media seem unable to write an article about prostate cancer without mentioning them – that’s the ‘train wreck’ aspect of jouranlism.
No where, however, will you be able to find accurate statistics on just how often side effects occur. We do know, however, that at least 32,000 men will die from prostate cancer by the end of 2010. Did they need to die?
Motorcycle-Riding, Diaper Wearers on Capitol Hill
September is National Prostate Cancer Month and this past summer I spent 48 days on my Harley, riding from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and back raising awareness for prostate cancer.
We accomplished a great deal and you can read a chronicle of the trip at the Tour de USA 2010 blog.
But, I think we need to do something with a much greater visible impact, such as getting a big bunch of prostate cancer survivor motorcyclists to ride to Capitol Hill in September 2011, and walk into the Capitol wearing diapers. That would be shock effect and would drive home the impact of neglecting prostate cancer research.
This thought occurred to me after reading Cancer Activism on my way to a prostate cancer advocate meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Got Cojones Along with Your PSA?
Rolling Thunder goes to Washington, DC every year in remembrance of our POW/MIA Vietnam veterans. I think we need to create something similar in honor of the over 1 million men who have died from prostate cancer and the 32,000 men that join them every year.
Let’s begin getting the word out about this and see if we can doing something truly exceptional to bring attention to prostate cancer.
We Need Volunteers
We’ll need help to get this done. If you want to be part of this, leave a comment here on the blog or send an email to CapitolHill@29000men.org.
Warm regards, Robert