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Men's fear and shyness

User
Posted 30 Aug 2016 at 20:06

Hello friends,


in today's D.Mail, I read an article titled " More men are dying of cancer because of fear and shyness. "


 


Well, in my own case I wasn't afraid and definitely not shy to go and ask my GP about my prostate.  I think it was 3 years ago that I first asked my GP about the state of my prostate gland. Well, I think she ignorantly brushed me aside with " oh, you're alright. "  Well, I'm the stupid one, in not asking her how could she be so sure. Also as we have a male GP at our surgery, why didn't I ask to see him?  I'm afraid I can't answer that, I simply accepted what I was told. Which is unusual, as I'm usually more pro-active in my health than probably most other men.


 


How did members here deal with their health issues? My diagnosis of cancer, hit my wife a lot harder than it affected me. I don't know why, I simply wasn't too upset by it.  On the other hand, 13 or so years ago, I was absolutely disturbed after being diagnosed with type2 diabetes. 3 years ago when I was diagnosed with heart disease, once again I was quite laid back finding out, because my GP didn't make such a big deal out of it, which I now think is shocking.  Because how I'm feeling at the moment, has to be a combination of the cancer and the heart disease. I could easily sit at home here and do nothing, that's far easier.  If I get up and do something, I can't do it for long, especially anything strenuous.  I can't do long walks, possibly half a mile at the most.  I've always got my angina spray with me. I'm only 59, but I already feel like a stupid old git! I'm now fully retired from work, even though my last job was part-time, I decided I'd had enough. Maybe it's time to pick up my camera again - it hasn't been used for 2 years or so.


 


Frank.

User
Posted 03 Sep 2016 at 01:48
Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Hi Francesco
I'm afraid we are all a little different. I am 49 and locally advanced / probably advanced. I'm sure you've seen my profile. My brother is 51 and a fully qualified radiology consultant. He won't have the test. Do I blame him ?? No , not at all. He has zero symptoms like me , and I have been through two years of hell with now no cure. Did I want to go through with this ?? No. Did it help me ? No.
I think we can advise and try to help , but to be honest I wouldn't be pushing anyone to have a PSA test , as often the results are very hard to live with , even if one is technically cured.



Just read this thread to John and we are with your brother on this, Chris. Perhaps men should always be counselled first (as the NICE guidance suggests) on the implications of testing. If they probably wouldn't want to go through with treatment then they might be better not getting tested. I have just got old enough to be sent a leaflet about breast screening - the leaflet outlines the risks of over diagnosis, false positives and false negatives and the life changing impact of treatment. It then invites me to make an appointment if I still want to go ahead. In fact, I have already done all that and got the t-shirt but it did make me think of my father-in-law diagnosed at 79 in a well-man clinic - he would have been much better not knowing as he refused any treatment that might affect his sex life :-0

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 09:18

hi frank


you need to pick up that camera and get back out clicking away


my health issues can walk a bit further than yourself 2miles max, or 5 miles on my bike, do each one every other day, gives me shortness of breath, very hot n sweaty + tired legs


am still working but finish at 1pm each day


 


regards


nidge

run long and prosper
'pooh how do you spell love'
'piglet you dont spell love -you just feel it'
User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 09:56
Hi Francesco,

I could hardly go to the toilet had a dull ache one side and still didn't go to see the doctor. It was a combination of every thing is going to be alright and fear. My wife finally persuaded me to go and the GP phoned the hospital straight away to say I was coming in. I had water retention which they relieved by catheter. My stupidity could have been disastrous for me (and my wife).

See my profile for more details of my situation and diagnosis

Arthur
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User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 09:18

hi frank


you need to pick up that camera and get back out clicking away


my health issues can walk a bit further than yourself 2miles max, or 5 miles on my bike, do each one every other day, gives me shortness of breath, very hot n sweaty + tired legs


am still working but finish at 1pm each day


 


regards


nidge

run long and prosper
'pooh how do you spell love'
'piglet you dont spell love -you just feel it'
User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 09:56
Hi Francesco,

I could hardly go to the toilet had a dull ache one side and still didn't go to see the doctor. It was a combination of every thing is going to be alright and fear. My wife finally persuaded me to go and the GP phoned the hospital straight away to say I was coming in. I had water retention which they relieved by catheter. My stupidity could have been disastrous for me (and my wife).

See my profile for more details of my situation and diagnosis

Arthur
User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 10:35

It is well known that women are far more proactive than men when it comes to health. There are probably a number of reasons for this but one of these is most likely to be because most women have are more closely involved with the daily responsibility of the health of their children and caring for elderly parents and this involves looking after their own health. Men seem to deal with health problems as they arise and then often only when they have experienced symptoms for some time or been pushed to seek medical advice by wives/partners or girlfriends.

Men need to be better educated about health and things to look out for and a change of attitude is required. As regards PCa, I think this is happening, gradually. In recent years there has been much more in the media about it and people discuss it far more openly. There have been publicity campaigns such as instigated by this charity and various events to raise funds and promote awareness. More progress needs to be made but this is a very significant change from when I was diagnosed in 2007. Then I knew nothing whatsoever about PCa. The nearest thing I was aware of was to check for lumps in testicles. Had I know about PCa I would have had PSA and DRE tests far earlier as a matter of course and my cancer would likely have been found earlier thereby giving a better chance of successful treatment. In fact it was only found when my GP suggested that when testing my blood for a very different reason it was also tested for PSA.

I dealt with my diagnosis by doing a great deal of research but otherwise determined I would carry on as far and as long as possible doing the things I was doing and wanted to do. Some people are unfortunate in various ways in life and you just have to make the best of your situation.

Barry
User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 11:44

My 69 year old, very intelligent brother in law, had known about his brother's cancer for the last three years and I have urged him to have a PSA every time I've seen him (which isn't admittedly that often.)

The last time was a couple of weeks ago when I casually dropped it into a conversation whilst his wife was there. No reaction at all from him, his wife looked puzzled by the term PSA and asked him what I meant. He didn't answer and the conversation went on to other things.

Two week later my husband received a call from his brother to say his doctor had suggested a range of health tests because of his age but when the result came back there wasn't a PSA test done and was that "normal" !

John told him in no uncertain terms that he should go back and tell his GP that he needs the PSA due to his brother's cancer and not to take no for an answer.

It's all so airy fairy I could scream. What is the matter with some men when it comes to health.

Your life is in your own hands, make sure it's a long life

*****

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 18:58

Hello friends,


thank you so much for your kind replies.


As for myself, unlike most men ( not our members of course ), I have always been pro-active regarding my own health. Perhaps my GPs through the years have considered me a damn nuisance. Well I don't care.  I try to look after myself, the same way I try to look after my cars.


My brother in law, quietly drives me insane!  I have asked him a couple times to go and have his prostate checked, he is almost 70 years old. He's dismissed my advice out of hand - because he's afraid!!  Afraid of what??  I didn't tell him anything, but I will ask him again, to reconsider his decision.  Isn't it better to be afraid or shy, only to find that there's nothing wrong?  Rather than wait 5 or 10 years, only to discover that unfortunately you now have advanced prostate cancer!


In my own circumstance, I was a little naiive, in just accepting my GPs lack of concern about my simple query.


 


 


Frank.


 

User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 20:04

I'm afraid I've always been one of those men who would rather put pins in my eyes than visit the GP.
I only went four years ago because my wife was getting onto me to go after I mentioned a change in bowel habits after seeing a TV commercial for bowel cancer. The rest is history and only because the GP decided to carry out a DRE.

I d still rather not go and even though I've been through what I have been through I will still avoid going if possible. I have an annual health check. People have told me I'm lucky that they offer me that. Truth be known I dread it. I only go as I'd be concerned it would effect my holiday insurance if I refused it.
Why am I like this? Well I'm not really sure but it's probably the fear of hearing bad news. I think the Pca dx reinforced that fear.

Bri

User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 20:07

Hi Francesco
I'm afraid we are all a little different. I am 49 and locally advanced / probably advanced. I'm sure you've seen my profile. My brother is 51 and a fully qualified radiology consultant. He won't have the test. Do I blame him ?? No , not at all. He has zero symptoms like me , and I have been through two years of hell with now no cure. Did I want to go through with this ?? No. Did it help me ? No.
I think we can advise and try to help , but to be honest I wouldn't be pushing anyone to have a PSA test , as often the results are very hard to live with , even if one is technically cured.


If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade
User
Posted 02 Sep 2016 at 20:34

That's were the hypocritical side of me comes out Chris. I promote the PSA test for men but fully understand those men who decide against it.

A bit of kettle, pot, black on my part I'm afraid

Bri

User
Posted 03 Sep 2016 at 01:14

It is very sad that some men undergo various treatments and despite doing so end up with adverse side effects with little or no prospects of improving life span and I empathise with men like Chris. However, I doubt very much that many men know about this in making a reasoned decision not to have a PSA test. (Lack of awareness is pretty clear from some of the profiles and questions men ask when they join this forum). It's lack of knowledge about PCa and the general attitude of men towards health. I can understand men deciding against treatment or PSA testing if they have considered what a PSA test and treatment might lead to but they just don't know in the way everybody knows about the increased risk of lung cancer and potentially other health problems if they smoke. This is because much has been made of the adverse effects of smoking for many years now, yet many still choose to ignore the risks - their bodies their choice.

Barry
User
Posted 03 Sep 2016 at 01:48
Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

Hi Francesco
I'm afraid we are all a little different. I am 49 and locally advanced / probably advanced. I'm sure you've seen my profile. My brother is 51 and a fully qualified radiology consultant. He won't have the test. Do I blame him ?? No , not at all. He has zero symptoms like me , and I have been through two years of hell with now no cure. Did I want to go through with this ?? No. Did it help me ? No.
I think we can advise and try to help , but to be honest I wouldn't be pushing anyone to have a PSA test , as often the results are very hard to live with , even if one is technically cured.



Just read this thread to John and we are with your brother on this, Chris. Perhaps men should always be counselled first (as the NICE guidance suggests) on the implications of testing. If they probably wouldn't want to go through with treatment then they might be better not getting tested. I have just got old enough to be sent a leaflet about breast screening - the leaflet outlines the risks of over diagnosis, false positives and false negatives and the life changing impact of treatment. It then invites me to make an appointment if I still want to go ahead. In fact, I have already done all that and got the t-shirt but it did make me think of my father-in-law diagnosed at 79 in a well-man clinic - he would have been much better not knowing as he refused any treatment that might affect his sex life :-0

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 03 Sep 2016 at 01:56
Originally Posted by: Online Community Member

This is because much has been made of the adverse effects of smoking for many years now, yet many still choose to ignore the risks - their bodies their choice.



Or in my case, my body, my sanity 😬



"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 03 Sep 2016 at 11:47

Hi Chris


I've just read your profile.   I'm in a 'neutral' position about PSA testing (see my profile).  I've also got a brother (Age 69)  who has BPH however no biopsy yet (he lives in Australia), he has had detailed MRI scans performed, he paid private for those.  He has had annual PSA tests for 15+ yrs.


May I ask, in your own diagnosis what do you think could have been differently ?  Did the surgeon spare any nerves ? (I had zero nerve sparing on advice of surgeon)   


All the very best. 


 


 


 

User
Posted 03 Sep 2016 at 15:12

I was not having a pop against smokers or trying too make any moral judgements. I was a smoker for about 8 years and know the calming, if addictive effects this can have, though having conquered the habit I have managed and benefited without it for many years. The point I was making is that there has been much publicity including Government warnings and I have been asked many times if I am a smoker. Indeed, on my latest renewal prescription my local GP practice says they are updating their records and have again asked me this question. By comparison, how many men have their attention drawn to the PSA test and what it is for? So NICE saying that men should have the PSA test and it's implication explained to them before having it, in many cases doesn't come into it because they don't get to know about it or find out late in the day, yet alone consider it proactively. For those that are aware, one has to respect their decision to proceed with the PSA test and any treatment fully/partially or not.

Barry
User
Posted 03 Sep 2016 at 18:00

I know Barry - I was mocking myself!!!!

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 04 Sep 2016 at 12:28

Thank you all for your replies and opinions.


As for myself, I like to know all about my current health status - it's just how I am.  I'm not saying everyone should follow my example.


I've just been looking through the current issue of Heart Matters. On page 8 it talks about health literacy, the ability to find health information and act on it. A study in 2015 found that more than 2 in 5 people in England aren't health literate.  Right, I'm not entirely sure what they are getting at here, as I definitely do not understand medical speak.  Looking through my urology notes, there's a lot of bumpf there that I've got no clue what it says. It's been a year since I saw my urologist.  Recently, I asked my GP for a report on my latest report on my recent diabetic MOT results; again not a damn clue what it means, but I'd like to find out. I'll speak to my diabetic nurse as soon as.


On Wednesday, my wife and I go to see the specialist, to get the result of my 2nd PSA blood test. I'm trusting for a decent result, as I don't feel too bad - I just get damn tired a lot, and on a daily basis. 


Last Friday I registered at our local Leisure Centre for the heart rehabilitation course, run by the British Heart Foundation - I also have heart disease.  I'm hoping this will kick start some motivation in my being able to regain a bit of fitness.


My current health status is, I'm not really sure where I'm at.  I know my heart disease makes its presence felt, I get episodes of my thumping heart, especially after going up then down the stairs.  My cancer reminds me it's there when I experience the side effects of Prostap.  So on occasion, I may feel down because of 1 of the problems or it be a combination of the 2.  And now winter is around the corner - damn!!


 


Frank.


 

 
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