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How do you convince other men?

User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 18:59

Met up with an old female friend today, and brought her up to speed with my diagnosis and treatment options.

I asked her to remind me how old her male partner is, and she says 50.

So I say that as my diagnosis was accidental and I am asymptomatic, her partner should ask their GP to do a rectal exam just to be cautious.

Her reply was that he would never consider letting anyone poke a finger up his bum.

I can't get my head around this attitude, how do you convince such people that there is no shame etc, and it's in their best interest.

User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 07:57

I would personally recommend every man to have a PSA test. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I was completely asymptomatic when my GP (thank goodness) decided to do a PSA test on the grounds that I was over 50. Not only did it come back with a score of 31, but the resulting MRI scan found early-stage unrelated kidney cancer which my consultant told me would undoubtedly have killed me within 3 years had it not been found AND an arterial aneurysm that I could have dropped dead from at any time. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, I can look back on it and say that that PSA test quite literally saved my life.

Best wishes,

Chris

Edited by member 18 Oct 2019 at 08:10  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 11:13
Now that I am a PSA evangelist, I implore every man I meet aged over fifty to have a PSA test. One friend over fifty finally went to his doctor and asked for a DRE and a PSA test and he was sent away with a leaflet instead.

I once asked Her Loveliness during sex to give me a prostate massage (when I still had one), but she told me to buggery off!

Cheers, John.

User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 22:01
to the original question - How do you convince other men?

You don't, you can't. If convincing someone is your end goal, you may always fail to succeed. And in any case PSA is not necessarily sufficient to indicate a PCa issue. A lump or firmness at DRE can be missed. MRI can be misleading

A friend is currently awaiting RRP. 67, no symptoms, regular PSAs, he knew of my PCa, all around 1.7. Diagnosed because the tumour was spotted at the bottom of an MRI scan taken for another matter. Assessed as a slow grower, not aggressive and contained.

Fast forward 10 months and there are now 2 sites of concern, some non intrusive treatment options are off the table. SA still under 2.

As much and as often as I repeatedly tell him his chosen treatment option outcome may not turn out as good as mine he is determined on RRP.

All any of us can do is raise the concern, and offer up possibility of the various checks that are available, knowing that nothing is guaranteed to show early stage PCa or to what extent it is a threat to life.

I still spread the word without being evangelical. Then, it is up to them.

As if this is not enough, having PCa hanging over you, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of a friend. I've been about to reacquaint with him, a Google search revealed "Memoriam" after his name. Never a good sign. He had been diagnosed with Leukemia in December 2017, passed away in February 2018. A lovely man.

atb to everyone.

dave

Do all you can to help yourself, then make the best of your time. :-)
User
Posted 21 May 2020 at 15:55

One way that I think would be to direct more publicity towards women because they are more proactive than men and can influence them. You only have to look at the number of women who join us asking questions about/on behalf of their men and also pushing them to visit a GP. "He arranged an appointment last Thursday after I’ve badgered him to check out his prostrate just as a routine for his 50+ health check" from https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t24426-New-member-looking-to-support-my-husband this is one of many cases that show the influence women have. I think as a sex they are generally more aware than men when it comes to medical problems and checking them out.

Just as well only a small number of men have breast cancer!

Edited by member 21 May 2020 at 23:08  | Reason: to highlight link

Barry
User
Posted 21 Jan 2021 at 15:05

Same with me,only discovered because of urine infection. Week later MRI scan,two biopsys and op Last jan. PSA now 0.01!!

Good luck for the future bud.

User
Posted 22 Jan 2021 at 18:05

Same with my husband, no symptoms, had a CT scan to look at an existing hernia, they saw proatate enlarged.

Eventually did a PSA which was in the hundreds and the rest is history. 

He has encouraged his friends of a certain age to have the test, most have and thankfully has nice low scores. 

Mrs MAS

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User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 19:44

Say he should go for a PSA test.

Can ask GP for one (who might try and talk him out of it), or look for a free local PSA testing session at https://psatests.org.uk/

User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 20:17
My elder brother is a fully qualified doctor who specialized in Radiology , and despite my diagnosis still won’t get tested himself. It’s the roller coaster we all can’t get off remember , and it changes our lives forever. Even the ‘ cured ‘ spend the rest of their lives worrying. I wouldn’t recommend a psa test to any friend unless they were having specific symptoms. Remember it’s so unreliable that they are constantly looking for an improved marker.

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 21:19

Thank you for the comments.

However, regardless of psa tests, I return to my original point, why are so many men resistant to having someone poke a finger up their bum. It's quick, simple, and costs nothing in lab time.

What is the psychology of this?

Do these men think it means they're gay?

I just don't understand this attitude.

User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 21:51
Most animals in the kingdom , male or female , don’t like things up their bum lol. But I get your point. I have a caveman friend who would rather die than have a DRE. I’m fine with medical procedures tbh and would way way rather have DRE than another Cystoscopy. They had to peel me off the ceiling.

Despite PCa being a horrendous killer , it is massively over diagnosed using DRE and Psa , and most men have some cancer in there if they are over 50 , which , untouched ,may never cause them harm. It’s a tough choice. But yes I agree , why be a dinosaur. It’s no big deal tbh

If life gives you lemons , then make lemonade

User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 22:08

I don't think it is just a male thing; nationally, only 72% of women in the age range have had their smear test and in Cambridge and some London boroughs the attendance rate is only 50%. I think it is partly cultural - having something stuck into an orifice is embarrassing and for some religions, shameful - but also a fear of it leading to bad news that we fear will change our lives and be frightening and painful. Personally, having been pregnant 7 times and had various bits burnt or removed over the years, I am not at all perplexed by medical examinations / cameras in awkward places/ someone looking at my genitals with a big torch but I have a friend in her 40s with a very painful knee who refuses to go to the GP because (in her words) you see a doctor and one thing leads to another. Research suggests that the main reason PCa survival rates in the UK are so much worse than for men in the US is that culturally, they grow up having medical examinations and DREs and feel no embarrassment about it.

Edited by member 17 Oct 2019 at 23:10  | Reason: Not specified

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 22:11
I would have thought that quite a number of men might find a DRE embarrassing and of these fewer because the thought it might be painful but that comparatively few would not allow a Dr to do it as an exploratory test. I found it rather embarrassing to be watched by a female nurse as I peed into a bucket to access my flow (believe a machine monitors this nowadays). It's a matter of attitude and way of thinking and although other folk may think differently to us we have to respect theirs.
Barry
User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 22:19

Hate to say it, but most people won't see a doctor unless they have to.  It's like the knight said in Holy Grail: "tis but a scratch".  You say you were asymptomatic, so presumably had no reason to actively seek it out.

At 50 I never dreamed that I was ever going to be ill, except for the odd bout of man-flu, so wouldn't have gone actively seeking DREs.  Now, however, it is a regular event, and I am quite blasé about it.

None of which answers your question.  I guess blokes are just crap at admitting they might need medical help for anything.

*** UPDATE ***

I no longer live in fear of DREs, as the last one I had in October 2019 confirmed Anal Cancer, which I happily no longer have.  I also no longer have an anus, so a DRE's not an option anyway (although they are still promising me a covid-delayed colonoscopy through my stoma...)!

Edited by member 22 Jan 2021 at 17:25  | Reason: change of personal circumstances

User
Posted 17 Oct 2019 at 22:47

Thanks to all so far for interesting replies.

Chris, yes when the government decided to hunt out people with heart disease, lo and behold they discover loads of people with it, and it overloads the system with all that follows. With P Ca, yes you will find lots of it if you go looking, who may well be asymptomatic and contained, but I feel the point is that it then makes men become more aware and how to live with and manage their morbidity.

Lyn, my female friend said as much, and I'm sure there is a cultural element.

We live in an age where any of us will probably at some point be diagnosed with some form of Ca, the relevance of which will be variable. BUT why can't we be mindful and aware and considerate.

 

User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 04:32

An interesting question! I am the sort of chap who (almost!) literally never went to the doctor. More likely to catch something than get cured I always felt. Even more so in the (now no longer!) extremely rare event that I entered a hospital.

I never had any of the usual prostate related symptoms. I went to "the quack" with as far as I am aware a completely unrelated problem. He decided to run a barrage of blood tests, one of which was the PSA. A few days later the nurse was going through all the results with me. I had no idea what it meant when her smile evaporated as she told me "your PSA is 131".

I am also a "silver surfer", and hence quite used to getting undressed in public. Prior to recent events my only visit to a urologist had been when a female member of the species had fondled my wedding tackle because my right testicle had swollen to over twice it's normal size. Non cancerous she concluded, and prescribed some antibiotics. I had great difficulty swallowing them. Perhaps as a consequence of those experiences I had no qualms whatsoever when my male GP stuck his finger up my backside post PSA. I suspect, however, that I am not the average British male!

How do I convince other men? I tell them my story, and tell them about the risk of false positives. Sometimes that seems to work.  

 

Edited by member 18 Oct 2019 at 04:34  | Reason: Not specified

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein
User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 07:57

I would personally recommend every man to have a PSA test. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I was completely asymptomatic when my GP (thank goodness) decided to do a PSA test on the grounds that I was over 50. Not only did it come back with a score of 31, but the resulting MRI scan found early-stage unrelated kidney cancer which my consultant told me would undoubtedly have killed me within 3 years had it not been found AND an arterial aneurysm that I could have dropped dead from at any time. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, I can look back on it and say that that PSA test quite literally saved my life.

Best wishes,

Chris

Edited by member 18 Oct 2019 at 08:10  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 09:12

Hi Chris,

These days I too recommend that all and sundry males of "a certain age" should have a PSA test. I'm not sure that was necessarily Arty's original point though?

A DRE is quicker and cheaper than a blood test. Why not recommend having one of those first/instead?

Jim

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein
User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 11:13
Now that I am a PSA evangelist, I implore every man I meet aged over fifty to have a PSA test. One friend over fifty finally went to his doctor and asked for a DRE and a PSA test and he was sent away with a leaflet instead.

I once asked Her Loveliness during sex to give me a prostate massage (when I still had one), but she told me to buggery off!

Cheers, John.

User
Posted 18 Oct 2019 at 22:01
to the original question - How do you convince other men?

You don't, you can't. If convincing someone is your end goal, you may always fail to succeed. And in any case PSA is not necessarily sufficient to indicate a PCa issue. A lump or firmness at DRE can be missed. MRI can be misleading

A friend is currently awaiting RRP. 67, no symptoms, regular PSAs, he knew of my PCa, all around 1.7. Diagnosed because the tumour was spotted at the bottom of an MRI scan taken for another matter. Assessed as a slow grower, not aggressive and contained.

Fast forward 10 months and there are now 2 sites of concern, some non intrusive treatment options are off the table. SA still under 2.

As much and as often as I repeatedly tell him his chosen treatment option outcome may not turn out as good as mine he is determined on RRP.

All any of us can do is raise the concern, and offer up possibility of the various checks that are available, knowing that nothing is guaranteed to show early stage PCa or to what extent it is a threat to life.

I still spread the word without being evangelical. Then, it is up to them.

As if this is not enough, having PCa hanging over you, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of a friend. I've been about to reacquaint with him, a Google search revealed "Memoriam" after his name. Never a good sign. He had been diagnosed with Leukemia in December 2017, passed away in February 2018. A lovely man.

atb to everyone.

dave

Do all you can to help yourself, then make the best of your time. :-)
User
Posted 31 Mar 2020 at 12:25

My PC was found by my GP being switched on, I went for a blood pressure check up and before I left he asked was anything else bothering me and I said No because nothing was bothering me, he then he said are you sure, so I said if you can stop me getting up for a pee in the night (I thought that was normal for men in there 50's) I'm now 5 weeks post op wearing a little pad for the little bit of leaking I suffer from.

My Brother who is 50 and my brother who is 60 won't go to get checked out. 

They say you have to die of something 😔

User
Posted 31 Mar 2020 at 16:50
CJ was diagnosed in his 40s but his doctor brother has declined to be tested. Awareness raising is very important but the decision not to have screening tests is a personal thing and may be the correct decision for some men.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 14 Apr 2020 at 08:29

Ihave given talks at mens breakfasts relating the facts  my journey  telling jokes as part of the talk leaflets from prostate cancer uk on a table for men to browse somehow being in a group enables men to talk about it also i have several T shirts & hoodies with slogons on normally i wear to the Gym now wearing on my coronavius permitted walk / jog around my village . I always have a credit card size explanatory leaflet in my wallet as well  several iv spoken to have had psa tests & been found to have it early stage ( mine was stage 3b & i had high dose internal brachytherapy  

User
Posted 14 Apr 2020 at 13:03

Originally Posted by: Online Community Member
CJ was diagnosed in his 40s but his doctor brother has declined to be tested. Awareness raising is very important but the decision not to have screening tests is a personal thing and may be the correct decision for some men.

Very true. There's a lot of truth in the suggestion that PSA stands for "Permanent Stress and Anxiety". Once you're on the rollercoaster it's very difficult to get off it again. 

Best wishes,

 

Chris

 

User
Posted 17 May 2020 at 10:21

I went to the GP because I had been feeling unwell for some time.Turns out it was a urine infection.After a week still no better so went for blood test.All came back fine except PSA that was 7. MRI,two biopsys and prostate removal been given all clear. Im glad I had that infection that by the way took three courses of antibiotics to clear!!

User
Posted 17 May 2020 at 12:40
I went to my GP with an unrelated problem and my GP suggested a PSA be added anyway. So my PCa was found with no new symptoms and it is clear that a fair proportion of men are diagnosed coincidentally. One can conclude that there are many men lacking symptoms and no other reason to visit a GP that in fact have PCa but remain undiagnosed.

Men are not officially encouraged to have a PSA test because for many men it would initiate a process leading to treatment which for a considerable number of men would be unnecessary. This would also overwhelm the capability of the NHS, particularly at the present time. There has been a reluctance to roll out PSA testing at 50 and this view has also been taken by a number of other countries. However, to push more non symptomatic men to visit their GPs' would require a Government recommendation and I don't think this will happen for a long time. Advertising campaigns by this Charity and others have had limited effect.

Barry
User
Posted 17 May 2020 at 13:17

I too was diagnosed with PCa after going to my GP with a wholly unrelated problem. No problem with any of my exhaustive bloods other than a PSA > 130 and none of the traditional symptoms!

Post Leo's robotic op I'm now at 0.1.

"How do you convince other men?". Tell them your own story? Over and over again!

Jim

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein
User
Posted 21 May 2020 at 15:55

One way that I think would be to direct more publicity towards women because they are more proactive than men and can influence them. You only have to look at the number of women who join us asking questions about/on behalf of their men and also pushing them to visit a GP. "He arranged an appointment last Thursday after I’ve badgered him to check out his prostrate just as a routine for his 50+ health check" from https://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t24426-New-member-looking-to-support-my-husband this is one of many cases that show the influence women have. I think as a sex they are generally more aware than men when it comes to medical problems and checking them out.

Just as well only a small number of men have breast cancer!

Edited by member 21 May 2020 at 23:08  | Reason: to highlight link

Barry
User
Posted 21 May 2020 at 22:07

When I do awareness events in shopping precincts, it's often the wife who grabs the Z-card, not the bloke. A good number of wives come up to the stand by themselves and take the literature too.

User
Posted 21 Jan 2021 at 14:46

I was diagnosed with stage 2/3 prostate cancer just before Christmas. It was only picked up because I spent a few days in hospital due to a urine infection, although it hurt I feel very lucky that I had it. One bit of good news from the doctors was that my cancer is curable which was a relief, just waiting now for the date for my operation 

User
Posted 21 Jan 2021 at 15:05

Same with me,only discovered because of urine infection. Week later MRI scan,two biopsys and op Last jan. PSA now 0.01!!

Good luck for the future bud.

User
Posted 22 Jan 2021 at 18:05

Same with my husband, no symptoms, had a CT scan to look at an existing hernia, they saw proatate enlarged.

Eventually did a PSA which was in the hundreds and the rest is history. 

He has encouraged his friends of a certain age to have the test, most have and thankfully has nice low scores. 

Mrs MAS

 
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