Bugger it, let’s talk about my bottom
Well, enough people have called me an arsehole on this website, so bugger it. Let’s talk about that part of my anatomy.
Specifically, let’s talk about the colonoscopy I had a couple of years ago. And let’s do so in the spirit of Movember, a charity which raises money for two major men’s health issues – depression and prostate cancer.
Movember ended yesterday. Hopefully that means there’ll be a few less Boonies and Mervs prowling the streets. Last year, Movember raised $70 million globally. This year it’ll be $93 million. Much of that money goes to medical research. Some also goes towards awareness programs. That’s what this article, with it’s admittedly vulgar headline, is all about.
If you think it’s hard getting a man off his arse to mow the lawn, try getting us to talk about our arses. We men don’t operate like that. If we can’t see it, it can’t hurt us. If it’s down there, it ain’t nobody’s business, not even our own.
Sadly, it’s that kind of misguided attitude which accounts for a fair portion of the 3,300 prostate cancer deaths in Australia each year. That’s one man every three hours. It’s also roughly equivalent to the number of women dying of breast cancer each year.
There’s an excellent fact sheet on the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia website with these and plenty more stats. The important stuff is this, and I quote:
“In the early stages of prostate cancer, there may be no symptoms at all. As prostate cancer develops, symptoms can include the need to urinate frequently, particularly at night, sudden urges to urinate, difficulty in starting urine flow, a slow, interrupted flow and dribbling afterwards, pain during urination or blood in the urine or semen.”
Lower down on the website, there is this:
“It is recommended that men aged 50 and over should talk to their doctor about prostate cancer and if they decide to be tested, to do so annually. If there is a family history of prostate cancer; men should talk to their doctor from the age of 40.”
This really is simple stuff. Go and have a test. Do it, even if the symptoms are different to the ones mentioned above, as they were for me. In fact, do it even if you have no symptoms. It’s not complicated and it’s not expensive.
In my case, I ended up having a colonoscopy, just to be sure. I could have done it through the public system, but elected to have it done quicker in a private clinic, and the whole shebang still cost only a few hundred dollars.
Funny thing is, I worked for a men’s magazine at the time. And that men’s magazine had a health and fitness page. When I pitched my story for that page, I was told “nup, nuh-uh, no one wants to read about your backside Anthony”.
That is a point I readily concede, and I apologise for shoving my bottom down your throat today, so to speak. But the fact remains. Men need to talk about this stuff. Because if we open the lines of communication, it won’t be such a huge step to go the doctor and get ourselves checked out.
Gents, we’ve all got one. Doesn’t mean we should have our heads stuck up it.
So, well done Movember for once again raising money for the doctors who will hopefully one day beat this thing. But above all, well done for raising awareness. The fundraising has gone on for a month, but the conversation starts today.
And that’s why The Punch has chosen to publish our one and only Movember piece this year on December 1.
Read all about it
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