Our health is more than once a year during October walk, run and wearing pink. It is supporting families who may have lost a loved one, still battling, or survived and to raise more funds for research to find a cure.
October is also when countless women gathered in pink across the globe from all races, cultures, and economic status to educate the public through multiple awareness platforms, it is not about girls power-grabbing as one friend expressed. Simply put, it is to eliminate a silent killer called, “Breast Cancer, and men get it too.”
Cancer remains a personal issue and not a water cooler conversation and consequently, I believe more men must begin to establish a bond to educate themselves about their medical problems. And this issue does not need waiting until a prominent person comes forward to start taking note of our bodies (men parts).
When the “Me-Too” movement against sexual harassment and assaults gained traction, numerous men forfeited their influential positions, some went silent and few were convicted for terrible behavior. Although some denied and minimized their actions; what this topic has done, is to create awareness.
Although male breast cancer is very rare, reports have shown that around 350 males diagnosed each year and it is also affecting adolescents and not only men between ages 60 and 70. Early detection remains the key and essential examinations can potentially save lives.
It is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast according to medical experts. “A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may invade surrounding tissues or metastasize to other areas of the body.”
This silent beast affects Dudes too:
If you are reading this opinion, I am not a celebrity who was diagnosed with this disease to influence a doctor’s visit in the next 24 hours. However, the medical profession classifies breast cancer symptoms as, “swelling of nipples, discharge, rashes around the boob. It is also where millions of cells and hormones found in boys and girls’ during puberty, swelling of the chest area or lymph nodes under the arms.
The Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) report that blacks have a higher rate of being affected by this disease including other cancers. Sadly, by simply replacing “Women” and pink with the word “Men,” predominantly black men, several other social-economic issues often dominate like, criminal justice, unemployment rate, masculinity, tolerance, sexuality, barriers much more apparent in this topic when the focus should be on care and access to good healthcare.
But irrespective of the arguments made; “awareness” is key in any society to develop new road maps for a better standard of living. Putting the stigma to rest, just because men do not wear a bra or have breasts like women, does not eliminate men from getting breast cancer.
Frequently when some patients realized this disease, it has already entered its terminal stage. Not everyone possesses the financial means to leave their local communities to obtain good treatment.
According to the International Journal of Caring Science and other leading oncologic care studies, males are at a more minimal risk than women for breast cancer. However, it remains high, especially for men with a history of the testicular complaint, and ones with a genetic predisposition, radiation, excessive alcohol use, liver disease, and obesity.”
Scholars additionally noted cancer was associated with and considered as a “ladies” disease which affected their women parts, the breast, and womb.”And that belief remains a dangerous weapon against one’s health issues.
Know the signs and ask questions
American Cancer Society list a few basic questions your doctors should be asking:
Often beneath that tough-guy image, he needs your support. Not many men would openly admit they relied on Viagra for sexual dysfunction because of self-confidence as important as his influence. This attitude sometimes forces some from visiting even women doctors or to participate in pink or a walk to generate more awareness.
- Do you have breast pain?
- Do you have a lump?
- Nipple retraction, or skin changes?
These additional questions need to be asked:
- How equipped is your doctor?
- How knowledgeable is your doctor?
- Where he or she received their training?
- The success rate of treating this disease or any other?
- Collaboration with other practitioners?
- Do you have an external evaluation of your labs?
The International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) has developed standards that many countries have adopted, and some of these rural facilities could implement more rigorous oversights along these shores in the delivery of competence services.
Access to good health care saves lives
In many communities today, access to proper healthcare remains a wall between the haves vs. have nots. The lack of social obligation by several elected leaders whose economic agenda in all political parties failed to confer inadequacies, under-funding of critical facilities only added more burden
The lack of accountability can also deter others from seeking medical attention to increase confidence for those who are still in the shadow. In many poverty-stricken and developed countries, often distrust and accountability are like the high rate of unsolved crimes from the lack of resources to receiving accurate referrals.
The failure to recognize professional limitations can cause other barriers such as correct medical equipment to diagnose these symptoms to well-trained staff is important. And the idea of upfront payments before one can be admitted must be addressed.
Equally significant, an attestation that decent treatment is being administered should be more important than profit as personal ethics should not be in conflict with appropriate care. Misdiagnosis or delayed treatment only creates more questions when one dies. How many patients’ life savings have been depleted by years of medical office visits without the precise answer?
In these tragic events, upset families are abandoned with more questions surrounding when a loved one dies. There are not exactly certain if it was cancer, heart attack, malpractice, diabetes, elevated blood pressure, or the prescribed medicine that may have created an addiction that may have led to the cause of death and not what is recorded on many end certificates.
“And if some medical emergencies can defy logic due to the extended waiting period to be seen or admitted for treatment why bother to show up, ” one person argues
These patients frequently try alternative medicine, not only for breast cancer but other diseases. To prevent these medical erosions, it starts with an accurate and truthful analysis to make sure they provide correct answers.
Building a brotherhood for early detection.
The complexity of men’s health especially in impoverished communities can be lost in a pleasant smile, cool and lay-back vibes that greet visitors and family. Quietly, tackling men’s breast cancer and other medical issues remain a taboo woven in social stratification, illiteracy, and medical disparities.
The local home-grown and self-medication may reduce symptoms, but it will not cure this disease, and many others we will face in our lifetime.
This very day, I believe that more men should pause; regarding their health, create a brotherhood even utilizing similar approaches such as the one used to advance local political leaders’ agendas that often failed to address your personal condition. Therefore, schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable physician.
Most importantly, embrace even if today’s check will be carried out by a woman doctor. Despite the barriers, there are yet few excellent physicians tucked away in these intimate communities. They may be limited due to resources, but they nevertheless carry out a critical role.
Today there several males organizations that are supporting men’s fight against breast cancer and other diseases that can provide a platform to engage and not isolate from fear.
Men’s health, in general, will continue to endure challenges navigating the socio-economic divide, taboo, disparities distrust, and access, and breast cancer is not the only potential medical check should be on your list this year:
Allow the doctor to acknowledge your concerns even if it only constitutes a psychological intervention until the next exam. It is possible the next Father’s Day gift should be to accompany a loved one to the doctor.
This October and beyond, I urge people to take a stand for good health: Colon cancer, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, mental disorder, and other illnesses.
Regardless of location, social status, the gender of the physician, we are all linked and cancer does not discriminate.