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Friday, November 29, 2013

Ohh Controversy!

This post is going to be controversial. If you are not ok with that please stop reading now. That being said, I am about to speak my mind like it or not. Here goes....

In 2009, breast cancer research received $872 million worth of federal funding, while prostate cancer received $390 million. It is estimated that fiscal year 2010 will end similarly, with breast cancer research getting $891 million and prostate cancer research receiving $399 million. October is breast cancer month in the USA (and I believe world wide) Pink ribbons everywhere,donation boxes, fun runs,businesses donating money. Awareness is everywhere. You know what that is great! I am not some woman hating breast cancer loving monster. But what frustrates me is, there is no equality! How many of you knew that According to estimates from the National Institutes of Health, in the United States in 2010, 207,090 women and 1,970 men will get new cases of breast cancer, while 39,840 women and 390 men will likely die from the disease. The estimated new cases of prostate cancer this year — all affecting men — is 217,730, while it is predicted 32,050 will die from the disease. How many of you knew that September is Prostate Cancer Month and their slogan color is blue? Look at the numbers. A very similar number of women get diagnosed with breast cancer as do men with prostate cancer.

Movember (a global movement started in 2003 to raise money for prostate cancer and other male related cancers)has raised the awareness of cancers affecting men. Also the now disgraced Lance Armstrong still has a few worthy foundation, Live Strong. These are a good start but only within the past few years have men's health issues even been talked about. Do you know why? Politicians. Politicians realize that women are a big majority of their voters and if they want to win votes then they have to overly finance breast cancer research while leaving men's health issues in the dust. I participate in Movember every year so that I can have an excuse to grow a mustache and raise awareness at the same time. It is a great conversation starter.

I realize that in many parts of the world even in 2013 women are marginalized. They get beat,raped,persecuted,forbidden to go to school or drive. The list goes on. But in the developed world women are NOT marginalized they have the exact same rights that I do. Here in Bogota the other day I was on the bus and I saw a bus wrap poster on the inside of the bus teaching women how to do a breast self exam. It was paid for and sponsored by Glaxo Smith Kline (a huge pharmaceutical company). That is great that they want to teach more women how to check themselves for breast cancer but do you know why they did it? Profit. The old saying is "You have to spend money to make money" they spent money on this campaign so that everyone would think they are such a loving and caring company and request their flavor of medicine.

Where is the bus wraps telling men to go get checked for prostate or testicular cancer? Where are our fun runs? donation boxes? Companies donating money? You don't see these things because now it is male health issues that are marginalized. In many ways men are still "top of the ladder" but in health issues we are at the bottom. It shouldn't be like this. We men deserve and have the right to at least equal and fair representation for health issues and we are not getting it. It makes me very sad.

Agree or disagree with me I want to hear your thoughts. Click Here to see where I got my facts and figures from. -Tyler


  1. I guess it might depend on where you are: I saw a few pink ribbons in October (a lot less than the pink ribbon craze in the US, I think), and a few adverts for Movember this month (only the first year it's been advertised here).
    There is one global organisation here in Belgium that raises funds for research on cancer; I don't know how they divide the money between the types of cancer though.
    Government-wise, all women from the age of 30 get a yearly letter encouraging them to get pap smears (cervical cancer) and from the age of 50 I think there are regular free mammograms. Not a clue if men get these letters for typically male cancers.
    Overall, it seems to be more balanced here.

    I did just find an article on prostate cancer and Movember, stating that the Flemish league against cancer doesn't find early screenings for prostate cancer particularly helpful: unlike some other cancers, early detection often doesn't improve the prognosis. They also state that most prostate cancers are diagnosed in older men and that the cancer grows so slowly that often they end up dying of other causes or at an elderly age. Often, there is no active treatment (surgery carries many risks) and there is simply active monitoring.
    Belgian numbers: 16% of men with prostate cancer die from it; 26% of women.
    That being said, research into treatments of prostate cancer that don't carry a risk of impotence and incontinence is more than welcome, I don't think anyone wants to 'actively monitor' cancer in their body, they'd rather get it out/destroy it.

    But in the end, any death from cancer is one too many, research should be done on all types of cancer and across genders. And raising of awareness for all types to improve early detection and treatment. The daughter of a friend of mine was diagnosed with bone cancer just last week.

  2. I just saw this youtube video, at around the 2-minute mark there's a quote from a Fox expert saying women should pay more healthcare because we have breasts and ovaries, whereas men only have prostates. He's certainly not helping your cause/he's a nice example of what you were talking about.