There’s something about cancer.
There’s no gentle, sugar-coating, easy way to say it. It just sucks.
Being told the news is no picnic either. Just ask father, actor and comedian Ben Stiller.
In a personal essay on Medium Oct. 4, he shared the news that in 2014 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. On a Friday the 13th no less.
“So, yeah, it’s cancer,” Stiller wrote.
“My urologist segued from talking about how inconvenient it was picking his daughter up at school that morning to dropping a cancer diagnosis on me without missing a beat. Two weeks earlier, I didn’t even have an urologist.”
Cancer is something us men don’t like to talk about. Who really enjoys talking about colonoscopies (which I’m supposed to get), prostate exams and any number of other procedures that has a doctor making some cheesy joke as he’s putting lube on his gloved finger?
But in the case of Stiller, he, like 180,000 other men who will get the same diagnosis each year, sucked it up and took a simple (though somewhat controversial) blood test.
The blood from the test helps doctors determine if PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) values are elevated in your blood. Watching the numbers rise over a period could indicate the possibility of prostate cancer.
It’s considered controversial Stiller wrote, because depending on the data doctors could send you off for a linty of tests that you may not need.
Stiller is two years cancer free and healthy. A perfect example of how the second leading cause of death in American men can be treated. There’s a 90 percent 5-year survival rate. That’s pretty damn good. Just look at the blue lines below.
But you have to get tested in the first place.
Here’s the real point, we don’t need a celebrity telling us to go to the doctor or to get some tests done. We should look to our own families and children to know that it’s worth a few moments of uncomfortable staring at a generic white wall bent over a bed with a cold hand approaching. Oh, wait you can do a blood test? Yep, lets do that.
Point being, we’re dads, we have little (or bigger) people who love us, look up to us and want us to be around for a long time.
If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for them. They’ll thank you.