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Equal Time for Men


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Jordan-Hare pink for Breast Cancer Awareness.



Don't men deserve equal time? Why don't we have recognition for Prostate Cancer Awareness?

Breast Cancer: Prevalence - 125 per 100,000 (12.5%), Deaths Annually - 21.9%, Lifetime Risk for women - 12% will develop breast cancer

Prostate Cancer - Prevalence - 138 per 100,000, Deaths Annually - 21.4%, Lifetime Risk for every man - 14% will develop prostate cancer

So, men are more likely to get prostate cancer than women are to get breast cancer, and it is just as deadly. Look around you at work. Look at the 7 guys closest to you. One of you will develop prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, and is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. For women, breast cancer is the leading form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death. No diff.

Yet breast cancer receives 50 times more funding for research. We're talking hundreds of Billions in funding for breast cancer research, yet only some millions for prostate cancer research.

Why aren't men demanding more research on prostate cancer? Is it vanity, the "we are tough" mentality? Is it denial, the "only other guys get it" idea? Is it embarrassment, the "we don't talk about that area" excuse?

Whatever the reluctance, prostate cancer takes lives -- Charlton Heston, Dennis Hopper, Gary Cooper, Frank Zappa, Peter Cushing, among the hundreds of well known men who've died of it in our lifetime.

Is it part of the "war on women" to want more research dollars go toward prostate cancer? Or is it just common sense to direct funding towards the diseases that cause the most deaths?

Luckily, so far, I haven't developed prostate cancer. I know that there are some on this board who have or who have seen it in their family or friends.

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Found some interesting responses on Reddit:

1. Prostate cancer is generally only in older men (I was kind of off the end of most charts at the age of 40), whereas breast cancer strikes women at earlier ages on average, often when they still have young families at home.

2. Prostate cancer is a slow killer. Most men who have prostate cancer do not die of prostate cancer. That is not so for breast cancer.

3. Men do not like talking about having prostate cancer, principally because even the treatment options attack masculinity. There is a high chance that the treatment will leave you impotent or incontinent or both. Since they don't talk about it, they don't engage as much in support groups or awareness movements, compared to women with breast cancer.

4. Before the 1980s, people didn't talk a lot about breast cancer, and likely for similar reasons (it's personal, it's dealing with our naughty bits, it makes people feel like less of a man/woman), but there was a women's health movement during the 1980s and '90s that really helped create awareness around breast cancer. No one has done the same for prostate cancer. OP is asking "why is X given more attention to Y," and part of the answer is "because someone went to the effort to create awareness for X, and if someone wanted to, they could do the same for Y." It didn't happen overnight. It was a long campaign that took a lot of time and effort, and we haven't seen many men becoming advocates for prostate cancer in the same way that women were willing to be advocates for breast cancer.

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I can echo number 2 anecdotally. My dad, who is an RN, said he would not even bother with treatment were he to develop prostate cancer. He's 58. Says the odds of something else killing him first make the treatment not worthwhile.

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There are different forms of prostate cancer. The slow developing kind is not as threatening. But the aggressive form is deadly. Problem is, they don't really know why some are slow and others are aggressive. And they don't have reliable ways of treating it. Even radical surgery often doesn't work. This is why research is needed.

Frank Zappa died of it at 53, Dan Fogelberg 56, rocker Johnny Ramone 56, Gary Cooper 60. I don't consider that "old."

Bigben, regarding #1, the risk of breast cancer also increases with age. Only 7% of breast cancers occur in women under age 40. It's most prevalent in women over 55 -- 2/3 of all breast cancers occur in women over 55.

That is not any different from prostate cancer in men.

And the death rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is basically the same as for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Yep, a lot of prostate cancers are the slow growing form. But the aggressive form kills.

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