In my circle of friends, it’s not uncommon to get a text from one of my girls asking about a recommendation for a good OB/GYN or a therapist. We can mix these bigger health talks into our every day conversation like it’s nothing. For men, on the other hand, these conversations are a little bit harder to have and that’s if they even happen at all – especially when it comes to prostate cancer.
Results from a recent Harris Poll survey of 410 men with advanced prostate cancer and 95 caregivers founds that nearly 7 in 10 (68 percent) of men surveyed admitted to sometimes ignoring symptoms like pain. The survey, conducted by eight patient advocacy groups comprising the International Prostate Cancer Coalition (IPCC) also showed that 71 percent of men don’t know what causes the pain and more than half say they feel pain is just something they have to live with.
The survey shows the important role of caregivers when it comes to helping men speak up about their prostate health. It can be life-saving. “It was actually the encouragement of my wife and the foot kicking by my wife to get a physical that led to my detection of prostate cancer,” remembers Thomas Farrington about what led to his health-saving early diagnosis. Now a 15-year-prostate cancer survivor, Farrington has made it his mission to save the lives of other Black men.