Every four weeks, there seems to be a good cause attached to that particular month December can guarantee the general public know about World Aids Day, The weeks leading up to August, the world and it’s wife anticipate Brighton Pride (fingers crossed for 2010’s event going well.) And then there’s March. Now, did you know that March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month? No, nor did I.
Okay, so I didn’t expect to find it flagged up on my kitten calendar, my dear Aunt Judy gave me this Christmas. However, I was more surprised not to find some info at the local STD clinic or at my own GP. Bizarrely, the one place I did see a campaign was on the doors of Marks & Spencer’s, supporting cancer awareness through a donation scheme. But as next month they will be another deserving course vying for our attention, their campaign may be quickly forgotten. With this in mind, I decided to seek out what advice there is on the World Wide Web to bring it the attention of Zhoosh blog readers.
The first web site to catch my eye was www.malecancer.org. The sight is easy to navigate and gets straight to the point about what you need to know. The use of short fun videos help to explain what prostate and testicular cancer is and what signs to look out for. However, this sight is very heterosexual orientated, created very much for the Top Gear generation, with a parody of ‘The Stig’ visiting race tracks to explain the importance of understanding male cancer.
Another web page that again was very informative was, www.orchid-cancer.org.uk. Again, the web site is well laid out and easy to use, detailing what types of male cancers are out there, and how to look out for them.
Both web sites are great for factual information and detection. But no real aftercare information directed primarily for gay men.
Two years ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with anal cancer, thankfully the treatment was a 100% successful. However, he was left frustrated by the lack of information concerning ‘What next?’ As he began to recover and feel confident, he found there was no organization or self-help group to go to with regards to asking question like “When can I have sexual intercourse again?”
With funding being sparse for male cancers in the first place and now with the NHS’ purse strings being tightened more then ever, it is highly unlikely that any money would be ring fenced for such help. Perhaps it is up to the gay community itself to pull together and bring a group together? In the past, this is what we have done and do, do very well.
What are your thoughts on this issue, have you had experience of male cancer? Are there any support groups out there? Please let us know.