Mark, I love your passion. I feel it. It's tough to interest guys in anything to do with doctors, in general. The women in our lives usually coerce us into seeing a doctor, because otherwise I'm not going to one unless I have a really serious problem. Like, something moves that shouldn't, or won't move that should. Major, or forget it.
Publicly, prostate cancer has a huge PR problem. The 2012 USPSTF recommendation against PSA screening only reinforced the male "put it off" mindset that already existed. That whole conversation, and it was going on well before 2012, was one reason I didn't bother to have any PSA tests from age 51 to 55. It had been up, it had gone down, and no one was concerned since it was running around 2 for a couple years. It wasn't until I consented to a physical finally at age 55 that it was checked again, and then the fun began.
Also, think about
it. When I told my lab guys I'd been diagnosed, one of them laughed, pointed at me, and said, "Ha! You're going to get boobs!". Now, that guy's a donkey anyway, but is it really surprising? That's the kind of support men can expect if diagnosed with PCa. It's nothing like women with breast cancer. And our treatments? Sure, let's brag about
that, shall we? General side effects are varying degrees of incontinence, ED, fatigue, weight gain, shrinking genitals, and yes even getting boobs to some degree. Surgery, radiation, chemical castration, surgical castration, wonderful discussions to have around the break room coffee pot, eh?
Do we wear cute head scarves, signaling chemo and causing others to rally around us for support? Nope. We hide it. We hide everything. Smile. "I'm fine". "Dealing with my new normal, boss. I'm great. How about
some extra work now?".
So with that as the likely outcome, is anyone surprised that men would not be interested in seeking diagnosis and treatment for PCa? It's entirely likely a lot of them (most?) are happy to roll the dice, deal with it if something does come up, die of it if it's bad enough. Maybe all of that is better than living with the diagnosis and treatments.
Even when the treatments are over, we may not get over the treatments.
Talk to those you can. But don't stress yourself out about
the reactions of others. It's complex, and you have your hands full just dealing with your own situation. You can help here, on forums like this, sometimes. Some people. But if I may suggest, don't take on too much responsibility for the actions of others. Your heart's in the right place, but it's just not that simple.
55@Dx on 4/16/13. PSA 5.2, G9(5+4), PNI+, cT3a by MRI.
IGRT - 44 sessions (79.2 Gy, 50.4 Gy pelvic)
ADT2 - Lupron+Casodex (5/13-3/16)
8/13-5/16 <0.1 (ADT2)
5/16-3/17 recovering from ADT2
3/17-7/18 ~ 0.6 - 0.8 (no TX)
10/18 = 1.0My Story